Jesus of Nazareth
Politics of Religion
Two millennia ago in the Jewish Homeland the actions of Jesus of Nazareth challenged the widespread corruption within Judaism, the Herodian dynasty and to some extent the power and might of Imperial Rome itself. As time passed a Christian Church evolved from Judaic roots, and the exaltation of the crucified Lord by His disciples [both male and female] and the early Christians morphed, into dogmas and tradition.
all religious practices and beliefs
are useless and empty.
all politics will be oppressive,
even the politics of revolution."
| Soon, Crusaders killed the infidel; Inquisitors killed heretics and in Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants are still killing each other today.The Church experienced schism after schism as Henry XIII, Luther, Calvin and others either wanted control or reform, and each split promptly established another powerful patriarchic bureaucracy. Due to their peasant status, until the twentieth century the common people followed along faithfully, just as they always have, when directed by kings and bishops and those men in high office.
Then something changed: the Industrial Revolution gave common people mobility; women were emancipated; slaves were freed; the technical revolution gave common folk access to information like never before. Questions began to be asked: questions that priests would not, or could not, answer. Slowly, like a trickle of water eroding granite, the faithful turned away rejecting the dogmas, the inexplicable traditions, the callous priests and absence of fellowship, love and compassion that they experienced within the Christian Church.
Today, as Anglicanism and Catholicism struggle with empty churches, Christianity appears to be teetering on the brink of extinction. The Princes of the Church are well aware of this, but are pathetically unable to embrace the changes and reforms that are necessary to put Christianity back on track, because to do so would demolish their own power base and wrench control from their evil hands. At a grass roots level, the parish priest is unable to explain the dogmas and tradition that have turned so many people away, yet he [or occasionally she] knows full well that Christian scholars of all denominations have long since moved past the literalism of scripture in their understanding of the Jewish midrash tradition employed by the writers of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.
The Christian church has played deliberately and consistently upon our worst nightmares: it has placed itself in the position of broker, between God and mankind. This is reinforced by our culture of isolation, and leaves us separated from God, like Adam and Eve: so drenched in sin as to be beyond redemption. Psychologically, if we are separated from anything, then by definition we must live in fear of that entity because it is not part of us; yet we know that it is out there, somewhere. What is more, we must constantly be in fear that we can lose it, and as a consequence, attempt to control it so that we do not. This is the legacy of Constantine and his bishops. Loss. Control. Ego. The evil trinity.
Sorry, Jesus. In 2000 years nothing much has changed, but thank you for the miracle of your abiding presence with us here upon Earth today.
In truth, the message of Jesus of Nazareth remains the same today, as it was so long ago in Galilee. It is the deceptively simple formula of how to live here in God's kingdom: live your life with compassion, love those around you without prejudice, and share the bounty of God's Earth with those around you; in particular with those less fortunate than you. And be not afraid to point out the wrongs and injustices within society. Of course, there is more than this, but those words encapsulate Jesus of Nazareth's program.
How do we live it today? Jesus is telling us that the truth is what rings true inside our hearts. He is telling us that we can live trusting our hearts. He is telling us that we can be one with God and that we are an integral part of the way God operates. Spirituality is not about external things: possessions, wealth, power and control, status, ego, nor is it about eating fish on Friday, sex before marriage or the assumption of Mary. Spirituality is about you, and how you live your life. It is about personal development, self-knowledge and self-actualization. Ultimately, it is about putting self to one side, about losing ego. Only then can we bear the pain of crucifixion and be at one with Almighty God
The Fellowship of Jesus of Nazareth is reaching out to families; including single parent families, young people and the young at heart. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth can provide you with a spiritual anchor at a time when the world around us is in turmoil. We challenge you to join us in a non-judgmental, inclusive Christian fellowship; furthermore, we invite you to be part of a movement that keeps Christianity alive!