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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why do you Believe What you Believe?

True Christianity has Jesus Christ as its focal point, not rules and regulation; not dogma or doctrine. Christianity began with the gentle, non-violent teachings of Jesus Christ for whom the religion is named. Jesus’ teachings were in alignment with Buddhist, Tibetan and Eastern thought that did not adhere to religious or political authority but rather supported an anti-materialist, non-political lifestyle. Jews who followed the teachings of Christ were just beginning to adapt the principles into their culture when non-Jews (Greeks and Romans) began to adopt the religion as their own. The Gospels which give account of the life of Christ were written between 30 and 70 years after the death of Jesus. Paul of Tarsus is one of the earliest founders of the Greek/Roman version of Christianity who penned parts of the New Testament. Paul’s writings which espouse subjection of women and paying homage to pastors and church leaders actually oppose the early teachings of Jesus.

The compassionate and tender principles contained in the early history of true Christianity, started to fade as the Orthodox Church of Rome continued to develop a doctrine that would enable political rulers to enslave citizens and force the congregation to materially support pastors and obey them without question. Arius was a major opponent of a new doctrine which taught that humans are sinners as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. This doctrine of “original sin” has been carried over to neoconservative, ultra right-wing religions today who teach that people are destined to hell if they do not believe a certain way or become submit to their church leaders. These pastors, bishops and elders were said to be the only ones who could forgive sin and save people from hell. They required people to do service for the church, give a tithe to support the pastors and even take up arms against the enemies of the church.

Another ruling of the emerging Christian religion declared the human body sinful and prohibited a couple to have sexual relations without permission from the Church. This is where belief in the virgin birth (that Mary the mother of Jesus conceived and gave birth without losing her virginity) was manufactured. Children who were conceived and born without the Church’s permission were not eligible for Baptism or forgiveness of sins—of course unless the parents paid penance or gave money to the bishop. This is also when the belief began that Jesus is the only son of God. And, that really doesn’t make sense to me. The peace-loving Jesus himself stated that we are all sons and daughters of God; equal to Him—joint heirs with full rights and responsibilities as co-creators of our lives and our circumstances. The teaching of separateness from God is strange. How can anything exist if the Creative Source is not in it?

Continued in tomorrow's post...

Yvonne Perry is a metaphysical author and keynote speaker who enjoys assisting people on a spiritual path. Her open style of writing is lovingly controversial and challenges people’s belief systems in order to help them grow spiritually. As the owner of Write On! Creative Writing Services based in Nashville, Tennessee, she and her team of ghostwriters service clients all over the globe by offering quality writing on a variety of topics at an affordable price. Get a complimentary eBook when you subscribe to her free monthly newsletter. Contact Yvonne at writer@yvonneperry.net or visit her Web site: www.yvonneperry.net .

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