Jesus gave us the two commandments that are the basis of Christian interpretation of Mosaic Law. These two commandments were selected out of the whole set of Mosaic Laws by Jesus as the ones most important. He seems to have deliberately broken several Mosaic Laws, e.g., the Sabbath one, and ones commanding reprisal for injury, but elsewhere Jesus says to obey the Law which then is left ambiguous as to what laws of the Law he meant. If Biomystical Christianity is true, then the Holy One steadily leads us through the historical epic of Canaan to Israel to Universal spiritual conception of Itself. Starting off as polytheism with two highest deities, EL and Asherah, God Most High and the Great Goddess as the Tree of Life, with numerous lesser deities representing both the cycles of Nature but also that of the Messiah. The Messianic concept of the Good Shepherd, the Good King, is the social leader who follows the Good God in seeing to it that those under the rulership and protection of leaders are all treated as members of one Family, starting from the least in the social register, e.g., the widows and orphans, homeless and destitute, to the greatest, the king and royal families who are to be servants of the people they lead and not the oppressors. Then monotheism enters through the Israelites for the Holy One has that main agenda too, to make sure human beings know everything in the world is interrelated, a Unity of diversity, an ecological systems within systems within systems but all part of a whole, all part of a Holy One. Without this spiritual concept as guidance for social behavior, societies tend to follow the division of Godhood into separate deities, creating a model for "us" vs. "them". But the Israelites are too close in time and place to polytheistic concepts so even their monotheism becomes a divisive one where they, the Israelites are the one and only Family of God and all others merely pagans. With the radical Jewish sect of Christianity forcing universal conception of God's Family, Jews retreat into the myths of their tradition instead of understanding the changes of God-consciousness that the Holy One continues to evolve through human history. Unable to live the traditional Laws because of their out-of-date harsh tribal society primitiveness, Jews learn to evolve softening versions of Judaism but the basic Separateness of Judaism that actually stems from polytheistic belief and not true monotheism keeps Judaism forever as only a link to further spiritual evolution of the human consciousness of God. It took Jesus and Christianity to break the Law, to bring the Holy One to the whole world. But then traditional Christianity becomes so heavily laden with mythology borrowed from the Hebrew epic and its own mystery religion origins that the Holy One revives old Greek pagan science with the Enlightenment to overthrow the Christian Church's stifling strangle-hold on human social evolution. So here we are today with not one of the traditional monotheisms applicable to modern social conditions or modern social consciousness which has actually surpassed in many areas, e.g. women's rights, the compassionate ethics of Judeo-Christianity or Islam. Enter the Holy One again resurrecting the past to correct the future, this time by resurrecting the histories and knowledge of the ancient pagan systems. By this time, there is so much dissatisfaction with monotheistic religion by educated people that the monotheistic God is nearly abandoned all together for simple science explanations of existence and social ethics. If recognized at all, God is recognized only as nebulous "Deity" or specific ancient pagan deities, i.e., totally stripped of the spiritual history of the Holy One as It has evolved through the Canaanite-Judeo-Christian epic. Educated humanity with a spiritual longing searches in vain for a universal religion that can meet all the needs of modern life. Traditional Christianity, under critical attack for over two hundred years begins to crumble in the face of mounting historical evidence of its politically manipulative internal warfare and not miraculous unified beginnings. Paul's and traditional Christianity's Mystery Religion connections are exposed. New Testament writers are declared authors of religious fiction. Educated Christians flounder for meaning as the chasm between historical discovery and Christian mythology widens. Then, once again responding to spiritual crisis time, the Holy One send a new vision of Christian meaning, a vision that ties together the original worshippers of God as the Good Father, EL, and as God the Good Mother, Asherah, Tree of Life, with the spiritual lineage of the Messianic prophesy through the Prophets until Jesus manifested the Messianic reality in his teachings and in his death and spiritual resurrection. The new vision also unites biological science with spiritual evolution so is therefore called "Biomystical Christianity". It is the second such "biological Christian" vision, the first one being the Jesuit priest Teihard de Chardin's. This newest Christian vision can call itself "Arielite" Biomystical Christianity, after the Archangel Ariel who seems to be God's primary angelic messenger for the New Millennium "upgrade" in spiritual consciousness. Arielmessenger becomes the human messenger for this spiritual chain of command from heaven to earth. New Gnosis is here with the spiritual truth we all know but act as if we didn't: all Law is meant to be broken because if it requires obedience to law to guide human behavior then loving willingness to do God's goodness is made a charade. God knows, we know, you can't force a loving relationship. Biomystical Christianity agrees totally with the saying fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear God when God is recorded a fearful tyrant as the YHWH face of the Holy One most often is seen, but love the compassionate EL face of the Holy One when we are led by the Messianic prophesy. Let Jesus as Immanuel and this new Biomystical Christian theology lead to the restoration of the spiritual Family, Elohim, Holy One, God and Goddess united in Loving harmony, male and female united also because made in the image of God, i.e. made in the harmony of God as all dualities of the Universe combined into one whole and Holy One. Let us never forget that Paul claimed to be of the tribe of Benjamin, i.e., he was then a "Son of Yamm", the Canaanite god of Chaos and Prince Sea who's icon was the seven-headed sea-monster well known in Babylonian mythology as Tiamat is also known in Hebrew scriptures as Leviathan, Lotan, and Rahab. How Yamm became Yahweh, the tribal god of the Israelites can be seen in the End Times of Anti-Gentile Judaism chapter.
The Latest Vatican Statement on Christianity and Other Religions
by John Hick
This article was published in the December 1998 issue of "New Blackfriars" and is posted on the Internet at John Hick's request and with his permission. I post it here as it gives a good general statement of the problem of traditional Christian beliefs reacting to modern critical bible scholarship.
"In the burgeoning discussions since Vatican II a three-fold typology has developed and a form of it is adopted by the Commission: exclusivist ecclesiocentrism, inclusivist Christocentrism, and pluralist theocentism. They note that the first was implicitly rejected by Vatican II. But 'Christocentrism accepts that salvation may occur in religions, but it denies any autonomy in salvation on account of the uniqueness and universality of the salvation that comes from Jesus Christ. This position,' the authors add, 'is undoubtedly the one most commonly held by Catholic theologians' -- and the same can be said today of Protestant theologians. But it is interesting that this is seen here as the current majority view but apparently not as the only one worthy to be considered. The third option, pluralist theocentrism, 'claims to be a way of going beyond Christocentrism, a paradigm shift, a Copernican revolution' in which, instead of Christ being seen as the centre of the universe of faiths, all the religions, including Christianity, are seen as revolving around God, the ultimate transcendent divine reality. Here salvation is not seen as universally dependent on the work of Christ, but as consisting in a transformation, reached along different paths, from natural self-centredness to a new orientation centred in God, the Ultimate, the Real. Many today see this most prominently realised in the struggle for social justice and peace on earth. The Report as a whole seems to include three different inputs, whose authors I shall dub the Accurate Reporter, the Interesting Theologian, and the Absolute Dogmatist.
The Absolute Dogmatist ignores current debates and reiterates the traditional church teaching without taking any account of criticisms and alternatives. This is done by means of biblical quotations, and by citations from dogmatic pronouncements of the magisterium, treated as absolutely authoritative. The Dogmatist's use of the Bible is pre-critical with, for example, the Fourth Gospel sayings of Christ treated without question as historical. Modern Catholic as well as Protestant New Testament scholarship is apparently regarded as irrelevant to the viability or otherwise of the traditional dogmas. There is no arguing with an absolute dogmatist -- one has to submit or reject. Here we can only note that such anachronistic dogmatism is still at work in the Vatican.
For if Jesus was God, and if he founded a new religion, then that religion is the only one to have been founded directly by God and must therefore be uniquely superior to all others. However New Testament scholarship, since the modern rediscovery of the Jewishness of Jesus, strongly suggests that Jesus himself would have regarded as blasphemous the idea that he was God incarnate."
"Q" vs. Pauline doctrine
Having no confidence in Paul's later interpretation of the man Jesus, his teachings, his life and death, I cannot rely on NT scriptures to be authentic or believable where they depart from the older Sayings of Jesus found in "Q" and the Gospel of Thomas that his earliest followers followed.
If Mark's initial narrative mythologies of Jesus performing incredible miracles, standing trial accused by Jews, being buried after crucifixion and rising from the dead, were witnessed by Jesus' earliest followers, why on earth isn't anything said about these miraculous, defining "Christian" belief components in Q or Thomas?
Jesus' teachings were not written down in his lifetime. The first written documents recording his teachings are the hypothesized Saying of Jesus gospel called "Q", (German for "Source"), a document now lost to history that circulated in early Christian congregations that both Luke and Matthew used in their later New Testament Gospels. The rediscovered Gospel of Thomas, another early Sayings of Jesus gospel, shares about a third of the "Q" sayings found in Luke and Matthew.
These earliest words recording Jesus and the reaction of his disciples to his teachings have none of the familiar passion story themes of the New Testament Gospels that followed Paul's interpretation of the meaning of Jesus' life and death. Paul's doctrine which Mark followed as he wrote the first Gospel was that Jesus was a God-Man who was a literal Son of God while alive who God sacrificed for the atonement of the sins of humankind. God then miraculously resurrects Jesus bodily to heaven after his crucifixion death.
Jesus, in Paul's doctrine, thus becomes if not a final Sin Atonement Sacrificial Offering for all the sins of mankind, at least a sin atonement for all sinners who repent and follow Paul's doctrine. But that doctrine is not what Jesus taught. And even though New Testament gospel writers were heavily influenced by Paul's theology, here and there they missed editing out Jesus' teachings which contradict Paul.
A good example of the contradiction can be seen in the story of Jonah that Jesus uses to illustrate the point that even pagans who do the will of God will be fair better at the final judgment than pious Jews who talk the talk but don't walk the walk of goodness and compassionate action.
From Matthew 12:38-42: "Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, 'Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you'.
He answered, 'A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a sea creature (correct translation), so will the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up AT THE JUDGMENT with this generation AND CONDEMN IT; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South (Sheba) will rise AT THE JUDGMENT with this generation AND CONDEMN IT; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here'.
Matthew 11:20-24: "Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they would not repent. 'Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, IT WILL BE MORE BEARABLE FOR TYRE AND SIDON ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the skies? If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. BUT I TELL YOU THAT IT WILL BE MORE BEARABLE FOR SODOM ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT THAN FOR YOU.'" (Capitalization for emphasis).
What Jesus is pointedly saying is that the Pagan populations in the Goddess worshipping centers in Nineveh (capital of Assyria) and Sidon and Tyre, well-known as centers for the Goddess religions, and even Sodom, will stand in better graces with God at the final judgement than those who claim to be righteous and pious Jews. Why? Because the pagans heeded the prophet of God.
This means at the Judgment righteous people, even pagans who follow the teachings of the prophets and of Jesus will be there at the Final Judgment. Nowhere does Jesus say these pagans have to believe in Jesus as their sacrificial sin offering in order to receive God's grace at the final judgment.
So, all the NT Pauline doctrine of sinners going to hell if they don't believe in Jesus the way Paul and Mark and John do is false doctrine; NOT Jesus'. Jesus didn't care about what these people were or how they believed. They repented and followed God by following the teachings of God's prophets and they will be in heaven regardless of Paul's words or John's 144,000 elect or any of the Christ Cult using belief in a magic Name, "Jesus".
Using belief in Jesus as a magic name for influencing God without following Jesus' teachings is not the Biomystical Christian way. Confessing Jesus as your savior is not a magic ticket to heaven as Pauline Christian doctrine would have you believe is true Christianity.
Jesus reflects the Spirit of Christ that is a Spirit that becomes manifest in one when they follow Jesus' teachings teaching us how to do the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. It requires compassionate action (works) and not mere faith in words in a book. James is the one to follow on this point because Paul contradicts Jesus.
Jesus' words deny Pauline, Markian and Johanine condemnation of all "sinners" who don't believe in Paul's theology that only swearing allegiance to the Name of Jesus (not his teachings) as a blood sacrifice sin offering as a ticket to Heaven will "save" one's soul and refusal to swear such allegiance guarantees that soul's eternal damnation. Jesus didn't know Paul and He never had to swear allegiance to Pauline doctrine.
The Ninevite pagans never knew Paul or Jesus and Jesus certainly is not condemning them but says just the opposite; that they will condemn the false righteousness at the Judgment of those claiming themselves pious Jews but do not act as such, i.e., they don't do as the Good Father wants. Anyone who reads Jesus' words without Pauline Christ Cult prejudice will understand this.
Paul's capitulation to Rome--Romans 13:1-5
"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities (i.e. the Romans). For there is no authority except from God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves."
Where Jesus was willing to confront the governing authorities with his very life, Paul directs Christians to kow-tow to Roman authorities, to obey them as God's appointed overseers. This led to Constantin's exploitation of Paul's doctrine to create a Roman Catholic Church priesthood working in concert with secular government that in turn created a totalitarian Church organization that was capable of destroying whole societies in the name of God.
The Fallacy of Paul and Augustine's Fall of Man doctrine
From postings on Internet Discussions I reproduce these Internet discussion because I believe answering questions posted on religious discussion talkboards is a good way of expanding and clarifying the way Biomystical Christian theology differs from traditional or Pauline Christianity.
Hi, H,Biomystical Christian theology never doubted blood sacrificial happening but that it needs to stop because God doesn't want any more bloodshed in Its name. That much many of the prophets told us millennia ago and Arielmessenger's message is no different. That is why Biomystical Christian theology so heavily criticizes Pauline doctrine of Jesus being a blood sacrifice offering. Pauline Christianity continues to embrace the idea of blood sacrifice as a ritual somehow necessary for God, but that is a concept that reverses the word of God spoken by the prophets. Arielmessenger is the prophet of the Biomystical meaning of Jesus' sacrifice which has nothing to do with his death representing any supreme sacrificial sin offering to God. In Biomystical Christian theology to promote the idea that Jesus' death is a grand scale sin atonement human sacrifice would be to counter to the compassionate and merciful will of God as that will is expressed partially through the prophets and fully through Jesus and as that will condemns sacrifice as not anything God desires. Mercy is what God wants and not sacrifice (Mt 9:13). Therefore Biomystical Christianity doesn't buy into the Pauline, really pagan Mystery Religion idea, of Jesus as a human sin offering. The idea counters the will of God. In Biomystical Christian theology Jesus' does sacrifice mightily through his death but it isn't a primitive ritual meant originally to propriciate the fertility of the soil as adding blood meal to soil will increase a harvest yield off it. Fertility gods then "required" a blood sacrifice as a clear symbol of piety sacrificing what is held dear as life. Monotheism cleaned up the sacrifice rituals somewhat but really the evolving message of God through the prophets is that sacrifice offerings were empty gestures to God and unwanted. God wants righteous behavior that follows God's compassion, mercy and wisdom. Social harmony and social justice depend on these qualities being exhibited by one and all in society but especially by those who would lead society. This explains Jesus' emphasis on the first to come last and the last first as well as the righteous leader being one who loves and serves his or her brothers and sisters, all common and equal in God's Family. This explains why Jesus counsels against hoarding riches and blesses the poor. And this explains why Jesus went to his death without contesting his sentence or fighting the temporal powers that killed him. In Biomystical Christian theology the great sacrifice Jesus made at his death was his sacrifice of potentially vast earthly temporal power as a Davidic Messiah, an earthly kickass King of the Jews. In a way, the trial and crucifixion of Jesus mirrors the temptation of Jesus in that in both instances Jesus refuses earthly power and rulership. In Biomystical Christian theology then Jesus as the fullest man of God becomes the most striking religious icon of hypnotic power as the God-given example of earthly sacrifice of power over others for love of others. Through Jesus God shows us how far God Itself is willing to go for love of humanity--that is all the way. God will sacrifice God for love of humanity giving humanity the "Biomystical" Key to end the animal behavioral prison humanity otherwise naturally falls prey to, i.e., the prison of the strongest and often the most ruthless alphas members of society ruling the rest for their exclusive benefit. If human beings are "hard-wired" to be led like sheep by aggressive members of human society how then will societies ever mellow out in peace given that aggressive members show their aggression through force, socially acceptable and socially unacceptable but clearly real coercive force, psychological mostly but physical if need be to. Animal society deals with aggressive individuals by periodic battles between the aggressors to determine the pecking order of the social hierarchy imposed by leadership of aggressors. Once the top aggressive individual is established a "peace" reigns until a younger aggressor decides to challenge the top alpha leader. What God has done through the Jesus Christ sacrifice example is give all of us but especially we males a most psychologically striking extreme example of sacrificing power for love, of once achieving a position as "king" of willingness to sacrifice that power, sacrificing our own egos, our little "God" inside if our egos interfere with God's will for us to do right by our fellow human beings. And I think all of us know the truth of the saying "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Jesus abdicates absolute earthly power in favor of spiritual power of love and it works! Behold, all archons will fall eventually to the peace-makers and the meek shall indeed inherit the earth. But, there's a big problem. Paul came along and while universalizing Christianity to his immense credit he also buried Jesus' sacrifice of power for love under Jesus' sacrifice for the sins of believers, an immense disservice to Jesus' teachings. Biomystical Christianity resurrects the sacrifice of power for love spiritual teaching of Jesus, of God Most High, because this is THE PRIMARY teaching of Christ that is missing in every other religion. Without a powerful example of sacrifice of power for love each and every human social organization, be it family, community, church, school, job, corporation, government, will suffer under the rule of the most aggressive members arranging elitist social structures and activities to benefit themselves and their elite social class status at the expense of the majority of those societies. Buddha comes closest to Jesus in sacrifice which explains their similarities of teachings, both being about ego sacrifice for higher consciousness, one of existence and one of God, one inward directed and one outer directed. But Buddhism is falling prey to scientific research and won't survive the End Times. That's another story.. Perhaps Arielmessenger's greatest prophesy is that the Biomystical Christian interpretation of Jesus' sacrifice will replace the traditional Pauline interpretation. Only the Biomystical Christian interpretation rests on biological and psychological science. The Pauline interpretation rests on miracles beyond anything but irrational belief. Bodily resurrections are not all that common in human experience but are well known in mythology. When Pauline Christians talk to Jews or Muslims about the truth of Jesus's sacrifice for the sins of others they must rest their beliefs on their commitment to believing the words of one ancient story of a god-man dying and resurrected from the grave for the remission of believers sins from quite a few ancient god and god-men mythologies doing pretty much everything Jesus claimed to do miraculously. Then there's the explanation needed for suspension of belief in the laws of our physical universe, all this 'splanin' to do to Loocy just ain't going to cut it in our modern analytical world-wide multicultural world. But Biomystical Christianity again puts Jesus into a unique spiritual category because Biomystical Christianity focuses on Jesus sacrifice of power for love in his death and this is a spiritual model that applies biological facts of social rulership in such a way as to overcome the otherwise natural social outcome of a minority of the most aggressive individuals ruling over the more cooperative majority. Judaism doesn't have this model in their desired Messiah. Mohammed is too identified with battle victory to present Muslims with any such model of sacrifice. And without the Christ sacrifice model these religions and their followers will be at the mercy of the strongest alpha egos battling one another for top alpha position in the Holy Land, in the world. Missionizing the Biomystical Christianity's biomystical interpretation of Jesus Christ means pointing out to the world at large that without the Jesus sacrifice model taken to heart there will be no end to dominant males fighting dominant males for control of every level of society and every inch of earth. Science and God are unified on this which is one of the reasons Biomystical Christianity will survive the End Times and flourish in the future as religions get demythologized through critical research and historical discovery. * * E, if Hebrew tribal scriptures contain instructions from God that if practiced today would quickly land the practitioner in prison for crimes against persons or humanity, how can any moral person accept them as stemming from the true God of All? All Biomystical Christianity beliefs stem from direct mystical experience of the Holy One who has communicated with Arielmessenger not only through the Bible but also through many sources of historical information, a primary one now being John Gray's Near Eastern Religions. Arielmessenger has experienced what is termed "Gnosis" of God and like many Gnostics before him he has found God is quite capable of using just about any medium to communicate with human beings, the "official" sources sometimes so clogged up with men's personal and cultural agendas as to render them near useless as true guides to the will of God. In other words, while traditional Christians and Jews know God only through their Scriptures ABC knows God through Its acts of involvement in Arielmessenger's personal life through "synchronicity" experiences. It is first-hand contact with God vs. second-hand, third-hand, information about God contained in Scriptures. In Biomystical Christian theology, Scriptures acts as guides as they were meant to do so instead of acting as a book form of an idol made of paper and ink, graven images as small black letters set in rows on pages instead of standing as statues. Biomystical Christianity never bows down to man-made idols including so-called Holy Books when these books contain instructions that violate human rights which in Biomystical Christian understanding are the same as God's right's, humanity being made in the image of God. Biomystical Christianity doesn't ask anyone to scrap their Bibles, Torahs, Talmuds, Qurans, whatever, but to see that they do not fall victim to what Biomystical Christianity calls "word idolatry", where the words on the pages or scrolls become as God instead of us realizing these are words about God filtered through fallible men's minds. Having experienced the power of God to use any vehicle for spiritual instruction, Biomystical Christianity urges all believers in God to go beyond their tribally prejudiced Scripts to find God's real universal Script for their lives. God's calling to human beings goes on constantly only in our daily grind we human beings rarely hear it. It's just as Jesus, identifying Himself with the Creator, says in the Gospel of Thomas: "Split a piece of wood and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find Me there." Personal experience of Gnosis of God is SO MUCH more spiritually powerful than learning of God by rote repetitions of verses about God written by ancient men none of us knows who, like us, are themselves bound to the cultural prejudices of their times. That is why God is God of the living, not the dead. * * R, my charge of hypocrisy still stands. You didn't address the point I made, you just implied it's in my imagination. R: "You use a might broad brush of your own imagination to paint this picture. However, you are right when you say that the Word of God is our "Supreme Authority." We are told to check all things even, to test the "spirits" against His Word. If it don't align or it contradicts His Word, it is false and dangerous territory to walk into. His Word is not only our foundation for Salvation in eternity, it is our life foundation for attaining that by walking in the here and now of today. Any Christian who foolishly denies or tosses that fact aside, might just as well party-hearty for he has no gain but death in the here-after." You then continue on proving my assertion that you use the Bible as your guide to check "all things" to see they "align or contradicts His Word" (=the Bible), but your "all things" stops short of any checking of the sources of your creature comforts given to you by the work of brave scientists in the past who dared to "contradict" that Bible of yours by establishing the scientific method. Some of them paid for this challenge to Biblical authority with their lives. Kind of similar to the establishment of the Christian religion at the beginning isn't it.. R: "To call the Bible an idol is ludicrous. To us, it is our "Manufacturer's Manual on Life." It is our guide from "darkness" onto the "lighted path". But, our worship is to God Almighty in Christ Jesus which is where the "Manufacturer of Life's Manual" points us." R, the Bible is one of God's best tools only because it carries a slim Golden Thread of the truth of the Holy One's desire for human beings to know and reflect in their behavior the Goodness of God. That slim Golden Thread is the one Jesus manifested in his teachings and his life and death and in doing so, overthrew the Mosaic Law matrix wherein the Golden Rule of entry into the Kingdom of God was trapped. Jesus released it to the world. In his personal willingness to sacrifice his life to follow God instead of Man so that humankind knew God's love had no bounds, he became the Christ, the deserved King of all of God's messengers to humanity. But once God had established Goodness as King through Jesus, that Spirit of Christ was free of the Law and the Chosen Ones so that it could manifest itself in everyone receptive to God's call for compassion, forgiveness and healing as this is the gateway to Its kingdom here on earth which is not a physical empire but a spiritual empire that exists the hearts and minds of human beings. But Pauline Christianity locked up that Spirit of Christ again, saying God only will give it to the New Chosen Ones, God's Elect, those Christians who obey only the words of Paul, the New Testament authors, and their appointed representatives, the Church Fathers, the Bishops, the Pope, and then the ministers who rebelled against the Papal authority, saying the only "real authority" is unquestioning belief in the words of Bible. They made the Bible an idol in so doing, having more spiritual authority than the Spirit of Christ that manifests God's will to goodness in whatever forms taken by differing groups of people. R, God, the true Holy One, is just far too big and powerful to sit in Pauline imprisonment. You may judge all things by the Bible but God doesn't. God's goodness is written in God's real manual of instruction for Life, in our DNA. In other words, God is With Us all bodily from the very beginning, the true meaning of Immanuel that Jesus manifested, whether Pauline Christians see It or not. * * Disagree, wholeheartedly, M. Bloodshed in ritual sacrifice doesn't save you from committing harm to others and therefore to yourself and God--only your changed behavior that stops you from continuing to commit such harmful acts does that. That's why several prophets condemned sacrifices as cult distractions to the ethical actions that demonstrate God's will in one's heart which is what God really wants. Your traditional Christ Cult faith in blood sacrifice is really no different than one of early Christianity's foremost pagan competitor religions, the mystery religion of Mithraism. There too believers in the efficacy of blood sacrifice were convinced that slain blood could cleanse them of their sins and they went the extra mile to prove it by literally baptizing themselves in a pool of sacrificial bull's blood. Coming out all bloody and smiley faced claiming to be "born again", new people bound for heaven and eternal happiness in the arms of the Sun's spiritual representative for humanity, Mithra. Mithraism was the popular religion of the Roman Legions and it was the Cross of Mithra as far as his soldiers were concerned that their Emperor Constantine saw in the sky and claimed was the Christian Cross. For the New Millennium, the Holy One wants us to remember blood is meant to be kept in its vessels of life, not spilled in ritual or emotional acts of violence and wasted on the ground as blood sacrifices or bloody warfare. As long as Christians honor bloodshed they will dishonor those who work for the Spirit of Christ to end bloodshed and they will look forward to more bloodshed to fulfill their blood lust fantasies confused with spirituality. "As above, so below"; let's bring the kingdom of heaven where there is no bloodshed to the earth as this is following God's path to true spiritual salvation of our souls. * * c4, I will give you two slogans also to help you understand what it is you are putting your faith in when you believe that sacrifice is about gaining atonement by the shedding of sacrificial blood. Those who believe sin can be atoned by the shedding of sacrificial blood believe in bloodshed. Those who believe that the Eucharist means sharing in the flesh and blood of Jesus are one step away from the primitive beliefs of cannibals who ate their victims thinking to gain their powers thereby. C4, please someday learn something about comparative religions. Read about the history of sacrifice rituals and discover for yourself how the fertility god cults involved blood sacrifices because the ancients had discovered early on that blood added to the soil increased fertility of the crops. Farmers know what blood meal added to the soil can do. All the denial of Christians about paganism in their religion is pure hypocrisy. Pauline Christianity is based on turning Jesus into another pagan fertility dying/resurrection god, another Adonis, Tammuz, Attis, Dionysus, etc., who's yearly bloodshed death and resurrection symbolizes, in sympathetic magical fashion, the fertilization of the soil to increase the yearly harvest. The atonement connection came about by the ancients trying to figure out what pleased or displeased the fertility gods who were believed to control the yearly harvests. The ancients noticed that blood added to the soil helped increase the harvests and that waste products added to the soil helped too. Atonement became then the way human beings could dump out their blood, sweat and tears, and crap in a sympathetic magic way to appease the fertility gods so that the community would reap a bountiful harvest, physically and spiritually as the blessing of the gods. What Paul accomplished was turning Jesus into a bloodshed sacrifice that goes beyond the yearly cycle of the pagans by making Jesus' sacrifice a one time historical event. Otherwise, even the ability of Jesus to procure entry into eternal life for the believer in his sacrificial death and resurrection only mirrors the same abilities of the pagan dying/resurrection gods. The same primitive belief system underlies both the pagan Mystery Religion dying/resurrection gods and Paul's Jesus as a dying/resurrection God-Man. And that primitive belief system has no place in my understanding of Jesus' mission as it diminishes what Jesus really did sacrifice which is temporal power over people as King of the Jews and King of Kings. This is the great feat of destroying human evil that God gave us through Jesus. Jesus taught us all how those who would lead must sacrifice themselves in order to serve the whole Family of God, starting with serving those at the very bottom of society. This is what a Savior does-He saves the lives of people who otherwise have no one to help them. * * Since you're quoting scriptures at me as "answers", M, let me quote one back from Matthew 12:25: "But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.'" You and fundamentalist Christians have divided God's realm and even God Itself in your hearts and mind through the making of Jesus into a God and Satan as well. This is the danger of polytheism--to divide that which cannot be divided. The Holy One can be nothing less than completely whole, Holy One. As a Gnostic Christian, I share the concept of God's emanations into this world and into human consciousness, but Gnostic Christians are careful not to confuse the Holy One, the true God of the All, with the emanationary identities we call "Christ", "Holy Spirit", "Wisdom" ("Sophia"), various archangels, and, of course, the Adversary. But they're all human conceptions of spiritual Aspects of the Holy One. This is Monotheism in the Judaic tradition as opposed to your Christian polytheism in the pagan Mystery Religion tradition. * * M, you still have three gods in your beliefs: First you posted: "Let me say, however, that to say the devil is a part of God is folly because God is eternal,ever existent,while Lucifer (the devil) was a created being who, therefore, is totally separate from the triune God." God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, that's two gods and one holy spirit, and Lucifer who is totally separate from God. Then you post: "First I did answer your question, I worship ONE TRIUNE GOD, Creator of all things, even Lucifer. The only time the word god applies to Lucifer is in relation to him being "god of this world" or having this as his restricted area of influence and, since he has so many under his influence then he is "god" of this world, by God, the Most High allowing him to be for a time." So you put Lucifer as a creation of God, but not of God, or no longer of God, but a god in his own right as "god of this world". That's three Gods you have going. God, Jesus, and Lucifer. So, I have to ask you for the third time what God do you worship? The God you seem to worship doesn't fit with a God of All, otherwise Lucifer would be part of God, and so would this world as God's domain. Read the Elohim version of Genesis and you don't get any idea that God is divisible or God's realm divided by any other entity. God is not divisible, only in the minds of human beings does It become divided. I would caution you to think clearly about your concept of God as it doesn't make rational sense if you believe you're worshipping a God who is truly God of All. As it stands, your God is God of only part of Creation. The "other god", Lucifer, you credit as being god over this world. Two gods, three gods, it's still polytheism. As for Venus, the Morning Star, the Evening Star, the Day Star because it's bright enough sometimes to show even in the day, I think you're deceiving yourself if you don't think this appellation applies to Lucifer, the Light Bearer. There is no other star that "challenges" the light of the sun or the moon as does Venus in being a Light in the sky. Ancient tradition has always associated Lucifer, Aphrodite, and Venus with the Morning Star. I think even Ishtar got her claim in on that planet too.. So your statement "Isaiah does NOT refer to Lucifer as the "Morning Star" who is Jesus as John says. Lucifer is referred to as "son of the morning", referring to him as a created being, created by God" is not correct but wishful thinking that's attempting to downplay an important symbolic connection between Jesus and not only Lucifer, but Venus, the Goddess of Love, put there either deliberately or subconsciously by John in his Revelation. * * K, no, I don't know perfectly well that Christian principles don't incite people to commit atrocities. Historically, Christians in name have been responsible for a huge number of atrocities. That they claim themselves Christians and still do the acts of violence and people do not question their religious beliefs means to me that something is terribly wrong with the source of Christian doctrine that allows such large numbers of people throughout traditional Christianity's historical record to commit horrible acts in the name of Christ and God. Christians are responsible for Christian acts in the world. I see Christians giving this morally irresponsible excuse that "it's not real Christians who do this stuff. Jesus didn't teach us to commit violence", yet it is Christians in name who did do and still do these acts. This is one of the main reasons I post on these C&B boards as a Gnostic Christian. Christianity needs to be purified of false doctrines that lead Christians into committing acts of violence towards others. Traditional Christianity rests on the false base of Pauline doctrine that has adulterated the teachings of Jesus by replacing Jesus's moral precepts with emphasis on personal salvation through identification with Jesus as a dying/resurrection god who, exactly like other Mystery Religion dying/resurrection gods, atones for the sins of the believer theoretically making them "born again" and guaranteed entry into everlasting life. With Pauline doctrine as the main focus of traditional Christianity Jesus' moral teachings take a back seat at best, often ignored as Pauline Christians debate endlessly, and schismatically over interpretations of Paul's words and who's more righteously obedient to the NT Words of Pauline doctrinaires. Jesus' morality gets lost in this process as what becomes supremely important to Pauline Christians is whether or not the person is "saved" by confessing absolute belief in Pauline doctrine of the divinity of Jesus and his Mystery Religion role as the dying/resurrection god who atones for the sins of the believer. The reaction of fundamentalist Christians to my postings on these boards demonstrates this overriding emphasis of Pauline doctrine. Fundies don't care about anything I say about sticking with the authentic teachings of Jesus. All they care about is whether I pledge allegiance to Pauline doctrine that Jesus died for my sins. If they followed the teachings of Jesus they would recognize a fellow traveler along Jesus' Path but they follow Paul's Path and don't recognize me or any non-traditional Christians who know that following Jesus' teachings are the most important part of Christian theology, not whether or not one is "saved" through the blood of Jesus. "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." K, when the Holy Book of Christianity is truly holy, it will produce holy fruit, unpolluted by bloodshed. Until then, we as Christians must set the moral example by following the teachings of Jesus guiding us to recognizing and furthering the establishment of the Good Father's realm on Earth as it is in heaven. Doing this is our salvation. * * Re: Because.. There's a whole lot of twisted logic in your answers, L, but let's start with this one: "He was not a human sacrifice, because first of all, He was not merely human. His blood was sinless, without spot or blemish, without the curse of sin." If Jesus is not "merely human", an alien in other words, and we must assume this if he had no human father and therefore no human male genetic lineage (so much for Jesus' lineage through Joseph back to David), how then can Jesus' death atone for any man? If Jesus is a God-Man, he isn't a man, and he can't "sacrifice" himself as a man to atone for human beings. The line "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" is only a phrase-Talk-it's not the Walk. It's a meaningless gesture for a God-Man with God-like power over life and death,(bodily resurrection would show this power) to go through a charade of pretending to feel what human beings feel who are not God-Men, who don't have superpowers, who most importantly, never have a God-Man's comfort when they face the scariest unknown of their short lives that a God-Man would have knowing even his physical body would be resurrected when he "died" which makes his death not a real death at all. It's just not the same for human beings. Jesus' supposedly sacrificial death is meaningless as atonement for human sin as long as Jesus is portrayed as an impossible alien creature, one never found on earth except in myths, comic books, and science fiction stories. * * Vlt, yes, I guess I do need help trying to figure out how bible literalist reasoning works. Help me out here. The New Testament or New Covenant supersedes the Old one, right? Then the Old Testament superceded Abraham's no written law time period, right? And God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son before God with Mosaic Law forbade human sacrifice and then in the New Testament Paul, Mark, et al say God says its ok to sacrifice one man, or one Man-God, Alien being, whatever Jesus was, to stand as a sacrifice for all human men, and yet, Jesus is quoted as saying he came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it? I just don't understand this. And I seriously doubt anyone not long familiar with the cult doctrines of Paul and Mark would either. Bible literalists obey the cult doctrine as cult leaders Paul, Mark and the rest ordered them to on threat of everlasting damnation if they don't and on reward of everlasting life if they do. Blind faith in Paul and Mark's cult doctrine is not reasoning and it is not following the authentic teachings of Jesus which can be found in the proverbs and parables- the Sayings of Jesus or "Q" gospel used by Mark, Matthew, Luke and John to weave their theology around decades after the life and death of Jesus. These authors wanted to portray Jesus as fulfilling Isaiah 53 suffering servant prophesies but look at Isaiah 53 carefully and you will see Jesus doesn't fulfill 53:3 "despised and rejected by men" as "thousands" followed Jesus' as went from place to place, "thousands" cheered him as he entered Jerusalem. Isaiah 53:4 "...stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted." Was Jesus "afflicted", diseased? If so how can he be the perfect unblemished sacrificial offering? 53:7-8: "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth", he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth, Matthew 27:46 "...Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Isaiah 53:10 "...and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring, and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand." Did God prolong the days of Jesus? Did Jesus live to see his children? Did the will of the Lord prosper in his hand or was that hand punctured by a nail? 53:11 "...by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many.." Isaiah 53 describes a "suffering servant"- not a Son of God. A son is not a servant to his master but a son to his father. Isaiah 53:12 "Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong..." If Jesus is the Son of God and God, who is God giving the other portions and spoils to among the great and the strong? Bueno gnosis and I'll take a Hamms or am one (for Christ's sake, though, remember which son of Noah began exposing the secret parts of certain mythological authority figures) * * "If you don't accept the bible as fact, and if you don't have his Spirit, then there is not much we can say to you, you won't believe. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, and his truth." S, you're statement exactly points out why I and others who do not accept the bible as literal fact post our discussions. Carl Jung in his "Answer to Job" I believe, said of fundamentalist Christians that they do not recognize the Spirit. I'm not going to give you a sell job on my kind of Christian commitment but before you go making judgments on who has the Spirit and who doesn't you should go to my website and look at the work I've done in my Spiritually based social and environmental activist life. It is spiritual blindness on the part of bible literalists that keeps you and bible literalists from recognizing the Spirit of Christ in action in the lives and works of human beings who have no need to swear allegiance to the words of Paul, Mark, John, and the rest of the New Testament authors. The Spirit of Christ is truly universal, can be found in all peoples, in all moral religions, in all acts of human beings that promote compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and justice for all regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation, regardless of class status. You know, the reason America is a great country is just for this reason that America accepted people from all over the world, each with their own culture and religious affiliation or not, but each one Trusted, given Grace, by America, to be whatever they can be and to contribute whatever they can contribute with no expectations of and no commitment required to sign an oath of allegiance to the New Testament. And that's the way the Spirit of Christ is- It is way beyond the confines of words in any book- God is a Spirit and those who worship it worship it in Spirit. Now, please, bible literalists, stop personally attacking the person posting questions on bible texts for posting questions and start contributing information that helps all of us better understanding bible texts and Christianity. * * Hi, D. I'll take your last question first: "I sense the real issue for you is on the deity of Jesus. You don't believe him to be God do you?" No, I don't. I share the prevalent Gnostic Christian (and later Arian Christian) view that Jesus was a man who manifested the will of God as the Spirit of Christ. He was a "Son of God" in the ancient religious sense that he followed his Father in Heaven's will on earth. The title "Son of God" was applied frequently in ancient Middle Eastern societies to literally apply to the worship of the King or Pharaoh, and to the Caesars in Rome as living representatives of God on earth. Applying this meaning to Jesus by Pauline theology, to me, was part and parcel of Paul and Mark remaking Jesus the Jewish man into the Roman Jesus Christ as a new Roman deity. I do believe Jesus very rightly deserves to be called Messiah, or Christ, i.e., one like an anointed King or High Priest, to show his Spiritual rulership over all men. I think what happened is that Pauline-Markian theology or what I and an unknown proportion of bible scholars call Christ Cult theology, took Daniel's "Son of Man" vision as a launching place to "elevate" Jesus into a literal apocalyptic mystical Son of God. But the term "Son of Man" isn't used this way by Ezekiel for example who the Spirit of God calls "Son of Man". Also, look closely at Luke 19:9,10 "Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what is lost." I read this as Jesus connecting himself to the saying "salvation is of the Jews" i.e., descendants or "sons" of Abraham. Look also at John 34-36 ...the crowd says "..so how can you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this 'Son of Man'? Then Jesus told them, 'You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that YOU MAY BECOME SONS OF LIGHT." (my emphasis). Elsewhere in John Jesus refers to himself as the "Light of the world". So believers can become like Jesus, sons of the Light, but he's not talking about himself being a Son of God. (I find it interesting that Jesus is predicting his followers losing the light when he's gone and not "knowing" where they are going, i.e., the history of the traditional Christian Church.) * * Hi, R, I confess I can't keep Hebrew's author's conception of Jesus straight. At 1:4,5, Jesus is superior to angels, a Son of God. At 2:9 Jesus is a little lower than the angels, then crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In 2:11 Jesus is not ashamed to call men brothers. In 4:14 Jesus is a great high priest. Which is he? And does sacrificial death make Jesus God? Think of how many hundreds of thousands of human beings have sacrificed themselves for others through the millennia where wars, robbers, oppressors, evil people have made an honorable person sacrifice themselves to save their loved ones or even their communities or nations? Are they all Sons and Daughters of God? You will say no, because they weren't born sinless, i.e. from a virgin, going on the gospel writers mistranslation of the word "almah" in the Greek version of the OT, the Septuagint. In Hebrew, the word "almah", meant a "young woman" and it is the same Semitic word used in ancient Palestinian pagan religions for young women priestesses serving in the temples of the Goddess. And they certainly were not virgins as we know the term but like Vestal Virgins, i.e. temple prostitutes re-enacting the pagan Heiros-Gamos religious rite that imitates the heavenly spiritual/material wedding between the Great Mother and Her Son/Concert which made the earth and crops and life fruitful and the world kept from Chaos. The Hebrews used the almah word too, but as a term for young woman and not temple prostitutes. Many bible scholars today believe Jesus as a Jew would be appalled at the concept of himself being thought of as a literal Son of God on earth. The concept that Jesus was a literal God on earth comes from Paul's familiarity with Greek mythological deities whose worship was everywhere in Tarsus and Asia Minor and adding that concept to Apocalyptic Messianic visionary concept of a "Son of Man" found in writings like Daniel's and the Book of Enoch too, I think. Paul and later NT writers just took these two concepts, one from pagan religions and one from the Jewish Apocalyptic writings describing heavenly ascended beings and created Jesus as a literal Son of God with all the trappings of the pagan mythologies of the Dying/Resurrection Son/Consort of the Goddess. Paul and NT writers just threw out the Goddess part and made Jesus into the God part alone. But its still all comes from mystical visions and mythology as there never was a human being on earth who was a literal God. The Jews have never conceived of the expected Messiah to be a literal Son of God. That concept is anathema to them as that was the very sort of concept the pagan nations held for their kings, pharaohs, caesars, etc., that they were literal earthly representatives of the Sun God usually. Jews thought that was superstitious nonsense. God to them was the Almighty Spirit and they couldn't conceive of God being a literal human being as Its own Son. And it is against their religion to follow any other God than God. So the great majority of Jews have always rejected the Christ Cult doctrine of Jesus' as a deity and so did most Gnostic Christians and so do I. . You believe in the Pauline Christ Cult doctrine of Jesus divinity because that's what you're told to believe in or you can't be "saved". But salvation means something to me than belief in the impossible. It means finding and receiving knowledge of God's spiritual reality and the reason God sent the Spirit of Christ to earth as manifested in Jesus the man and his teachings and his spiritual healing work. But it doesn't matter to me if you believe that way because you demonstrate a tolerant, humble, honest, and caring Spirit of Christ and that's enough to know that you follow Christ and the will of God. Me, I always have to work at that humble thing... * * Hi, R, Well, what it boils down to is this: I worship (i.e. love, honor, and obey) the Jewish Jesus, who was a Son of Man, i.e., he was the Hebrew word for a human being. I worship Jesus because of all human beings recorded on earth he alone brought the messages from the Holy One of the Holy One's unconditional Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, and Assurance of the humane (deliberate spelling) soul's return to the Realm of Loving Light we humans call Heaven. Buddha came close as the highest representative of Man's Compassionate Love but Buddha says nothing about the Spiritual Realm of Great Spirit of God and Buddha did not make the ultimate sacrifice for his fellow human beings to show without question how far God's Love extends. You and traditional Christians worship the Roman Jesus which is Paul and Mark and the New Testament writers and early Church Fathers created mythology of a new God, Jesus, a literal Son of God instead of a symbolic one. To me, Jesus became the "Son of God" in the way that the Jewish prophets (and some kings as Carer mentioned) did, which is to say Jesus faithfully followed his Good Father instructions and taught them to humanity. Jesus has become "an Anointed One" i.e., a Christ, a Messiah, like a king or high priest, but elevated to "King of Kings" as God thought it necessary to raise up a supreme spiritual prophet of compassion and forgiveness to the highest level of spiritual kingship to demonstrate the Spirit rules over all. And today, even with all its terrible faults Christianity is still God's choice for the major religion of earth. Jesus accomplished becoming the King of Kings by destroying the foundation of earthly kingship gained by men's usual means of territorial warfare. Jesus was the first Jewish prophet to NOT to promote territorial Zionism but Spiritual Zionism. He was not a Davidic Messiah but a Universal Messiah bringing the Spirit of God as the Good Father in Heaven (i.e. the spiritual realm) to Earth. Jesus is all about Peace but he knew Peace would not be accepted in his time, his Aeon in Gnostic terminology, until the New Aeon dawned with the 2nd Coming. That's why he says he brings with his teachings a sword and division of the household, pitting un-believers against believers, traditional believers against non-traditional ones. This warfare was the destiny of for Jesus' Aeon. And it has come to its climax in these End Times for patriarchal religious warfare. This is why a true follower of Jesus Christ, carrying within him or her the Spirit of Christ which is seen by the compassionate actions a Christian makes in relationships with human beings and life, such a Christian can never follow a prophet like Mohammed, another man of war, who's Message from God is a message from the old God of War and Retribution who asks for blood sacrifice in warfare to establish earthly territory, domination of society by men, in the name of their male Jealous God. Only the Spirit of Christ is of the Holy One. All other spirits are false and lead to more wars, intolerance, pain, misery, and unnecessary social violence. You can see this by following Jesus instructions in Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. And this is how I can tell Paul is a false prophet coming clothed in the Lamb of God but who's teachings have for 1700 years brought war, pain and misery in the Name of the Christ. * * Ez: "The judgment spoken of in the passage you attempt to twist beyond recognition is the last judgment that you don't believe in. I have already answered you on this. The Jews who rejected Messiah will be worse off because they should have known Messiah when he stood before them. The pagan Gentiles will fare better at judgment because they didn't know the God of Israel, but heeded His warning and repented anyway." I'm not twisting beyond recognition that last judgment. I'm only pointing out Jesus' own words in the Bible you believe to be inerrant says what it says, and what Jesus says plainly is that pagans who repent at the word of God from the prophets will stand AT THE FINAL JUDGMENT, in judgment against self-righteous Jews who claim all righteousness but do not act righteously. Jesus CLEARLY says these pagans will CONDEMN the self-righteous Jewish spiritual authorities at that judgment. Therefore, Jesus' words deny Pauline, Markian and Johanine condemnation of all "sinners" who don't believe in Paul's theology that only swearing allegiance to the Name of Jesus (not his teachings) as a blood sacrifice sin offering as a ticket to Heaven will "save" one's soul and refusal to swear such allegiance guarantees that soul's eternal damnation. Jesus didn't know Paul and He never had to swear allegiance to Pauline doctrine. The Ninevite pagans never knew Paul or Jesus and Jesus certainly is not condemning them but says just the opposite; that they will condemn the false righteousness at the Judgment of those claiming themselves pious Jews but do not act as such, i.e., they don't do as the Good Father wants. Anyone who reads Jesus' words without Pauline Christ Cult prejudice will understand this. It is too bad fundamentalist don't read their own New Testament very well because if they did they would see Paul Christ Cult theology is a drastic revision of Jesus' teachings of mercy and compassion and hope for ALL people who follow the will of God as stated in the Lord's Prayer. * * K: "First off, "these pagans" are NO LONGER pagans. The people of Nineveh REPENTED and accepted God and His laws. They TURNED AWAY from their pagan worship. Jesus did NOT say "pagans" and you know it -- He said "men of Nineveh" and "the queen of the South", who is the Queen of Sheba. She came for Solomon's wisdom and learned of God. She went back to her country and promised to worship the God of Abraham, therefore she was NOT PAGAN any longer." Arielmessenger: I don't think you could find a single university trained historian to agree with your misconceptions about the religious beliefs of the Assyrian people living in Nineveh at the time of the Jonah story. These people worshipped pagan deities during the times of the Old Testament and the New and only stopped that worship centuries after the time of Christ when most converted to Islam and a minority to Christianity. And the same for the people of Sidon and Tyre, and the same for the people of what is now called Yemen, the land of the Queen of Sheba. At the time of Jesus the populations of these cities worshipped pagan Goddesses and Gods and Jesus knew that. And the words recorded of Jesus say, no matter how you read them that he believed they would stand condemning the pious, self-righteous Jewish religious authorities AT the Judgment. AT the Judgment means what it says. So at the judgment pious, self-righteous fundamentalist Christians are going to be shocked to find these old pagans and all other non-believers who repented but Did Not become Jews or Christ Cult Christians standing in condemnation of the Christian equivalent of ancient Pharisees who lock the Kingdom of Heaven up for themselves and bare the door to all others unless they convert to Christ Cult Christianity and obey the rules set by its leaders. So your statement, "Christ in NO WAY said that pagans will be admitted to Heaven, without REPENTANCE and Worship of God ONLY" is flat out contradicted by the words of Jesus. Jesus said these ancient pagans repented but he never said they converted from their pagan worship and the historical record verifies this. Once again, you offer only your opinions which lack any historical proof. Here's another one of your illusions: "And in the case of gnostics, they know only TOO well that Christ testified of ONLY one God, but they CONTINUE to worship pagan deities in their religion, as well". Because anything I say you automatically dismiss, I had hoped you might learn some truthful information about Gnostics and their belief in the same Highest God worshipped by Jesus by reading the postings by Rev. Julianne in the Essene and Gnostics folder. I saw your posting there and I saw her answer and yet here you are posting again your blind opinion as if any statements about Gnosticism made by Gnostics had no reality for you. Rev. Julianne is so much more informed about early Christianity than you or me that when you make ridiculous judgments about non-Pauline Christian paths you only parade your own ignorance of historical facts and your blind faith in the words of Paul. * * C4, when you talk about the Spirit of Christ acting upon a person I am in total agreement. My problem with New Testament scriptures is that while most of the Gospels contain the Spirit of Christ in the teachings of Jesus recorded there the Pauline doctrinal influence overwhelms those teachings, e.g., the difference between the Didache type of Eucharist (Thanksgiving meal) and the Pauline/Gospels' type of Eucharist that is actually a flat-out pagan Mystery Religion eucharist wherein the supplicant believes that he or she can atone for their sins and save their souls for eternal life by ritual symbolic identification with a dying/resurrection God or God-Man. This pagan ritual comes directly from archaic ritual slaughter of sacrificial human beings, ancient kings when their yearly or seventh yearly rule came to an end, then substitute sacrifices including children, in very ancient times the ritual was complete with cannibalism, i.e., drinking the dying/resurrection God's blood as wine and flesh as bread by actually drinking and eating parts of the sacrificed king, or child-king. The ritual shedding of blood was directly connected to fertility of the soil and crops as the ancient noticed long ago that "bloodmeal" fertilizes crops and makes them grow better. The dying God represented the crops harvested and eaten as the "Bread of Life" (this was Aphrodite's and Asherah's appellation long before John applied it to Jesus, just as Bethlehem was the "house of bread" to the pagan Tammuz/Adonis worshippers before the Hebrews took it over as David's hometown). What Christians need to realize is that Pauline theology is based on pagan Mystery Religion practices of his times. Paul/Mark and the Christ Cult Christians took the Jewish epic and found the scriptures that could be read in a Mystery Religious way of a dying/resurrection god atoning for the sins of believers e.g., Isaiah 53's Suffering Servant. Christians have to become familiar with Greek and Egyptian Mystery Religions to see for themselves how the Pauline theology came about as a mix of pagan Mystery Religion theology and Judaism's Messiah prophesies. Because I became a Christian by directly experiencing God's absolute total control over my life that I could literally "see" happening each moment for three days in a row, my often stated continuous "synchronicity" experiences, I did not come to God by the traditional "faith" in the Bible's account of Jesus Christ that is said to allow the Spirit of Christ to come into us. God did direct me to the Bible in that initial conversion experience but also to other sources like, well, the encyclopedia then to look up stuff about Einstein's relativity theory and magazine articles about the role of testosterone in social animal aggression, because these were also sources of "God's Word". My experience of God is that It can use absolutely anything to deliver spiritual instructions to human beings. God is not bound to any book, including the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, you name it, and I guarantee you God is far beyond it but can and does use these past references to Itself for our guidance. What it boils down to is this: my Biomystical Christian theology is based on direct experience of God's power to manipulate my life which shows me Its reality and Its will to bring the Spirit of Christ to humankind. God gave us the Spirit of Christ in order to overthrow the power of old animal behavior patterns that keep societies in slavery to dominating earthly authorities and earthly personal self-centeredness that stops the flow of giving, of sharing God's bounty with all of God's children without divisions into "us" and "them". My Biomystical Christian faith then is faith in believing what I could see for myself is God's total dominion over everything that existences, that happens, that we call Life. The Pauline concept of Christian faith is foreign to me. Doesn't relate at all to my experiences with God. How can putting one's faith in a story of a God-Man's sacrifice atoning for the sins of humanity that no one on earth can prove ever happened have any value to a critically thinking mind? By Pauline reasoning then, every ancient pagan Mystery Religious practitioner is "saved" from sin and will experience eternal life. Every Roman soldier who immersed himself in the pool of bull's blood representing Mithra's blood shed for the atonement of sin will be saved forever. This sort of "faith" is just too primitive to me, doesn't compute anymore than if I were watching some documentary on ancient religious rituals. A step up from literally eating the sacrificed being substituting for our sinful selves but really, who needs these old gory stories in order to believe in the efficacy of plain old Goodness, Kindness, Compassion, Mercy, and Forgiveness. If one truly has the Spirit of Christ within themselves it bears these fruits just listed in one's relationships with others. This is pure and simple Christianity. That the Spirit of Christ is a real phenomena we all agree upon as you listed your miraculous experiences with It that are ones among millions of reports by Christians. The Spirit of Christ is the most powerful Spirit that comes from God Almighty. It is a real thing that doesn't need any shoring up by Pauline doctrine or by any words in a book for that matter. The Spirit of Christ is our human conscience that distinguishes right from wrong. God gave it to us from the beginning without any books at all. * *