I Remember Now ~ How Did Christianity Come to Deviate From Jeshua’s Message ~ Post 6
Could you say more about how Christianity came to differ from the message of Jesus?
Jesus’ message of everyone and everything living from their natural Oneness with the One (God, the Divine) was quickly distorted. The Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were written 30 – 70 years after his crucifixion. Much can happen in that time, along with what scholars believe are later additions to the text.
Generally speaking, any statements attributed to Jesus in the Gospels that are exclusionary or that are judgemental in nature could not have come from him who taught only Oneness and love. Why would anyone want to exclude and judge? Three key things are important to consider here: male ego, power, and control. Along with good intentions from some well meaning people who did what they did out of love for God , male ego, power, and control are part of the energy driving the formation of a religion that came to be called Christianity.
Before I go further, it must be said that early on there were followers of Jesus who truly sought to live by his teachings. They were called “The Way”. It was truly a counter cultural community of people who shared what they had in common with one another, and sought to live in peace. They lived by non-violence and it developed that no followers of The Way could serve in the military. You can read about them in the book of Acts, chapter 4.
That said, the religion of Christianity developed into something quite different. How? One key moment was the “conversion” of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD. He and his army (as they were headed towards battle) reportedly saw a vision in the sky of a cross. Underneath it were Latin words which meant “In this sign conquer”. He had the cross emblazoned on their shields. Sense a disconnect from Jesus’ life and teachings of love your enemy and nonviolence?
Also around this time there was great division within the Empire. The rising Christian church was part of the problem. They argued with one another about what to believe about Jesus. Was Jesus really God? Was he God’s Son? Was he really human? Was he some kind of mixture of both? Did he really rise from the dead? Wait! Say what? Religous people separating themselves over beliefs and opinions? Go figure.
Anyway, at this time about 1/3 of the Empire was “Christian” and Constantine had had enough. In the year 325 he ordered several hundred bishops of the Church to his summer palace, and told them you’re not leaving until you come up with a statement (creed) about the Christian faith that you can agree on. It took 3 months but they agreed on something that became known as the Nicene Creed. Along with another Creed with earlier roots (the Apostle’s Creed), you can still hear the Nicene creed confessed today at a Christian worship service. The Apostle’s Creed is mostly confessed. It’s shorter!
Two key points to be made here:
1. While there may have been some sincerity in Constantine’s conversion (I am old but I really wasn’t there), it’s pretty clear that for Constantine a primary motivation behind the forming of this central foundation of Christianity was power. Specifically the unification (and his own control) of the Roman Empire. So after 325 AD, what was once an alternative, counter-cultural, non-violent Way of life based on Jesus’ teachings, became a religion of Empire, power and correct belief. It was probably inevitable that the male ego would quickly take over. I say male ego because women were left out of leadership.
2. The man made religion of Christianity became all about Jesus and Jesus wasn’t about himself at all. The religion formed in his name became a religion centered on believing the correct things about him. However, Jesus was/is always about the One (God). In John 14 he says. In Luke 18 someone says to Jesus, “Good teacher. What must I do to inherit eternal life”. And Jesus says to him, “why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone”. That’s one that’s rarely talked about in the church. Jesus also never said anything about worshiping him, but that’s what the Church does. He talked often of following him, as in living like him, but never about worshiping him.
It makes no sense that Jesus intended to start a new religion. Especially one all about him. He would never feed his ego like that. He had/has no need or desire to do so. It makes no sense that he ever intended to start a Church, for that would mean even more separation
As I wrote earlier, what Jesus was/is about is helping us see OUR OWN natural Oneness with the One, the Divinity of our own essence, and to live from that place within us and all around us.
He would say “you too are a Son or a daughter of God. I don’t have anything that you don’t have. I am just more aware of it than you are, and so I AM in the higher vibrations of love and peace. I live in a greater sense of Oneness, and the same potential is there for you too!”
You are Love
I welcome your questions and comments!