Radical Reevaluation of Christianity

by Lewis Loflin

  
  

The material below is presented to the layperson to introduce them to the many currents that operate within Christianity, Gnosticism Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Hellenism. Most of the material I use is written by believers in God (myself included) and I try to avoid the use of material from atheist/Humanists sources.

Broadly in my view Christianity is a Hellenistic philosophy claiming the "authority" of the Holy Spirit, something not found in OT Judaism.



Christian Origins Hellenism and Gnosticism

After the conquests of Alexander the Great Greek culture was spread across the former Persian Empire. Many embraced a fusion of higher Greek culture with their own while Greek colonists incorporated local gods, religions and cultures into their own culture. Nowhere was this more divisive than among the Jews.

Judah was caught between the endless wars between hostile Greek Syria and a tolerant Greek Egypt. Maccabees 1 & 2 was more about a civil war between Hellenist Jews and Orthodox Jews than freedom from Damascus. That went on even after the time of Jesus.

The vast Jewish communities of Alexandria welcomed Greek ideas and incorporated that into what I'd call Hellenistic Judaism. Philo did just this and and some Church Fathers referred to him as the first Christian - he was a contemporary of Paul.

Hellenistic Judaism broadly was more universal, less political, and more "liberal". It certainly was far more spiritual and pantheistic - I'd suggest reading the Apocrypha.

From this Hellenistic stew-pot would arise what became Christianity and its sisters that was considered heresies dumped under the term Gnosticism - they are really the same differing in how the Church defined a single word. Paul claimed salvation by "faith" while Gnosticism claims by divine knowledge - both advocated a spiritual union with the divine. Paul used "faith" and "knowledge" interchangeably.

An example of this joining with the divine:

Official John 1:2, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name..." and Romans 8:14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

A spiritual union with Jesus whom the Church claims is God Jesus becomes the "divine mediator". Paul is so hostile with God's Law and those that follow God he said the following in 1 Timothy 1:9-11,

We also know the Law is not made for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those that kill their fathers and mothers, for murders, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders, liars, and perjurers, - and for whatever else that is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

And we wonder why there's so much hatred of Jews and others throughout Christian history all the way to the gas chambers?

So we have Paul a hostile and alienated self-hating Jew that rejected his ancestral faith, embraced and created a new Hellenistic "Judaism" devoid of religious Judaism whose authority derived through the Holy Spirit, another product of Greek culture absent from Biblical Judaism. Paul could make anyone a "spiritual" Jew without having to follow the cursed Law of God or get circumsized.



Apostle Paul Enemy of Jesus' Church

Jesus was human and somehow believed he was the Jewish "messiah" a great leader sent by God to free the Jewish people from a cruel Roman invader. Many believe he had ties to the anti-Roman Jewish resistance and lost his life at the hands of the Romans for sedition. Jesus alleged resurrection seemed to pattern itself after a number of risen savior deities in Gnostic and Hellenist' traditions. Enter Paul a Roman and hit man for the Jewish traitors aligned with Rome.

Jesus never left Judaism or abrogated the Law or circumcision and His message was for Jews only. Thus we end up with Paul the self-proclaimed Apostle to the Gentiles in conflict with Jesus' Brother James head of the Jerusalem Church. When James cracked down on the circumcision issue that it was mandatory because to be Jew required it under God's commandments, Paul revolted and left Judaism. He proclaimed the authority not of God, but the pantheistic Holy Spirit of Plato and the Apocrypha concocting a "spiritual" Israel devoid of the Law, circumcision, and everything else Jewish. I'd suggest a close reading of Galatians.

Paul or at least his later followers concoct the lie that Jews killed Jesus and their prophets There is no historical basis for this. See "Killed Their Own Prophets": New Testament Libel of the Jews. It was Paul's Gnostic visions and divine claims of Jesus that any Jew that knew the Torah would reject.

In fact so few Jews bought into this cult Paul said in Colossians 4:10 only three "Jews" (including Mark) were with him. By the way, Mark and Luke are Paul's followers and Luke is a Gentile.



St. Augustine Father of Protestantism

My introduction to St. Augustine was his Confessions I read in college. While my Christian friends found Confessions uplifting I found it appalling. Written after his conversion I was repulsed by his self-loathing and the entire concepts of grace and election that reduced merely being human somehow evil and "salvation" a mere whim of God. Augustine struggled to reconcile faith with reason. I place reason first.

St. Augustine in my view is the 3rd. most important figure in Western Protestantism behind Paul and Jesus. Following a life of a materialistic philosopher and finding disappointment in Persian-Gnostic Maniceanism his conversion to Christianity elevated him to the top theologian of the Catholic Church. He carried his Platonist and Manichean influences in my view into the Catholic faith. In addition he was an main influence on John Calvin and Martin Luther.

He fought against his former Manichean faith, fought the Donatists, embraced Neoplatonism a speculative almost theology in itself, and his greatest enemy Pelagius. I side myself with Pelagius and the Jews in that there's no support for a gnostic style savior deity somehow a god in the Old Testament. Jesus was human and taught Judaism. Christianity is a product of Hellenism a fusion of Greek philosophy and other religions and cultures. Paul founded Christianity.

How many times have I been told, "you can't read the Old Testament literally, but though the words of Paul and the New Testament." Sorry but even Mark says "God is one" (edited out in the Catholic New American Bible) and that is what it means, not three divided pieces. Human sacrifice and God in any material image runs completely counter to the Old Testament and worship of a man is idolatry.

I reject Allegorical Interpretation where the only authority is claims of approval of invisible spirits. Anyone can make up anything by taking non-literal readings of any book or text and present zero proof to back it up - take it on faith.

Faith is just fine but in the absence of reason it's simply superstition and is the foundation of religious cults. If I'm supposed to believe St. Paul got his beliefs from dreams, visions, and an invisible Holy Spirit that completely countered the entire Jewish faith, then why not believe Mohammed got the Koran from Allah via an angel and Christians are liars?

Pelagius was cleared of heresy charges pushed at the insistence of St. Augustine, but was cleared in the Eastern churches. Augustine views of sin and damnation were also rejected in the Eastern Churches.

St. Augustine was a brilliant philosopher and like his idle Paul well educated, but a troubled man. Below is a selection of material on these subjects.



Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism was a great monotheistic of ancient Persia today Iran. This in various forms was the Persian state religion very friendly to Judaism in particular with Nehemiah and Ezra book books at one time a single volume. Under Persian rule the Jews returned to Jerusalem at the decree of the Persian King Cyrus. The Jewish Encyclopedia notes the great influence the Persians had on Judaism and Christianity.


Jews for Jesus hooked the unwary.

Freemasons, Unitarians, Deists

Evolution

End Times

Greed

Non Profits and Local


Islam

Muslims have disproportionately high rates of antisocial behavior, conduct disorder and violence. Because these deadly incidents are hidden under the guise of religion, little has been done to address the deviance-amplifying nature of Islamic Jihadi teachings...

Dr. Babu Suseelan




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