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The Lost God of Jesus IV


Within 300 years of his death and resurrection – upon which the Christian world had founded its faith, Jesus and the God of grace, peace and nonviolence which he represented, were betrayed afresh. Once more, The Compassionate One became engulfed by the violent concepts of the god we see in the Old Testament. As a result, Jesus was rejected by a Christianity which claimed to represent him. Not only so, but as can be seen clearly from history, even down to more recent times, people began to view this god as one who required bloodshed – even human sacrifice, in order to stay the hand of his terror and judgement.

Growing from the mustard seed, sociologists estimate that by the end of the first century, there were less than ten thousand Christians in the Roman Empire. We know from the letters of the Apostle Paul that most churches in his day still met in homes (Romans 16 for example – c AD 57). By the year 200, the number appears to have increased to a little more than two hundred thousand – still well under one per cent of the total population. However, two generations later, by the year 300, Christians are said to have made up some 10 per cent of the population – approximately 6 million. Some estimate that by AD 350, there were as many as 34 million Christians in the known world! Continue Reading


The Lost God of Jesus III


And so, into this world of strife and violence, socially and religiously, came the child who would be King. But this would be no ordinary King and no ordinary Kingdom. That he totally failed to meet the expectations of the people as their ‘Messiah’ is self-evident from the Gospels. He disappointed on almost all counts – he still does for so many, even those who take the name ‘Christian’.

As you read the New Testament you would be forgiven for thinking that this peace-loving and peace-preaching Jesus, who teaches us to love our enemies, turn the other cheek and not resist an evil person, is the exact opposite of the sometimes violent, vindictive and cruel god portrayed in the Old Testament. And you would be right. Indeed when his disciples attempted to follow the example of the Old Testament god – Jesus rebuked them (Luke 9:55-56)! I know that his further statement recorded here – ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of ..’ (KJV) is disputed and is not to be found in many other translations including the J.B. Phillips New Testament, the New International Version, the New Living Translation and the Tree of Life Version among others, but, never the less, all record that he rebuked them for wanting to call down fire from heaven to consume their opponents as had Elijah and indeed the god of Israel did when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. This is not a contradiction we can easily gloss over – no matter how much we would wish to do so. Jesus is clearly not representative of a god who would destroy his enemies in such a way. Continue Reading