Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: genkiguy ()
Date: September 15, 2004 11:55PM

Have you guys heard of this book:

Biblical Religion: The Great Lie,

by Michael Kalopoulos,

Its a brilliant book, It deserves a wider readership,
It has some great reviews at

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: genkiguy ()
Date: September 16, 2004 12:04AM

This guy just released his book, I haven't read it yet, but I read an editorial he wrote that I really liked,

And here's the link to Michael's site, mentioned above:

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: YellowBeard ()
Date: September 16, 2004 02:39AM

I haven't heard of these books -- much appreciation for the links Genkiguy. They sound good. I dug up some relevant quotes from the samples on their sites:

“It is evident that we are living in a perpetual humiliating hell, arranged precisely by those preaching of paradise. However, the responsibility for the humiliating conditions we are living in does not belong to our persecutors alone. The ease, with which we have followed those supposed saviours, is astonishing. Our nauseating gullibility must bear the greatest part of the blame.” -- Michael Kalopoulos (from Biblical Religion: The Great Lie)

“Moderates do not want to kill anyone in the name of God, but they want us to keep using the word "God" as though we knew what we were talking about. And they do not want anything too critical said about people who really believe in the God of their fathers, because tolerance, perhaps above all else, is sacred. To speak plainly and truthfully about the state of our world—to say, for instance, that the Bible and the Koran both contain mountains of life-destroying gibberish—is antithetical to tolerance as moderates currently conceive it. But we can no longer afford the luxury of such political correctness. We must finally recognize the price we are paying to maintain the iconography of our ignorance.” -- Sam Harris (from The End of Faith)

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: YellowBeard ()
Date: October 01, 2004 05:38PM

Richardmgreen started this thread off with:


Jesus preached about love and peace. ... While on the surface his ideas seemed good, his teachings were distorted by self-interested groups ... "Love your enemy as yourself" became twisted and religious discrimination happened.

Later on in this thread, Jesus's teachings and he himself came into question. I hope that I can follow up here a bit in that direction. I feel that the edgy title of this thread "Christianity and Religion in General's Inherent Problems" serves as a built in disclaimer. But I'm going to take what's been explored here a little further, so I'd like to add a warning for the more sensitive readers:

To explore a historic personality from the perspective of cultic studies, I'm going to present opinions here that question deeply the personality of Jesus in a way that most religiously-minded people will find offensive. The following perspective is not endorsed in any way by the Rick Ross Institute or the cult recovery community in general.

In the cult recovery community, it's generally taboo to question the personalties and beliefs of the dominate religions of the society in which they operate. This approach is no doubt necessary to be able to help as many people as possible. But from the perspective of the field of cultic studies, to stifle such inquiries is to stifle growth and understanding as it does with any science.

To conclude, sensitive religiously-minded readers should not read any further.

For the obstinate or curious that are still reading, I offer a piece from South Parks' disclaimer:


The following program should not be viewed by anyone.

Now that that's all taken care of, I offer some relevant extracts on this subject from [i:e328c5eae5]Should We Admire Jesus?[/i:e328c5eae5] by Jim Walker originated on Nov. 26, 1996:

“Christians have held the main character of the New Testament, Jesus "the Christ," in high esteem for centuries. Even many who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus think that he gave an admirable example of moral living. ... Does the Biblical Jesus merit the honor bestowed upon him? Unfortunately, preachers, ministers, and clergymen have given us biased, one-sided stories, emphasizing and inflating what they see as positive while subverting or ignoring the negative. Biblical scholarship of the last hundred years has not reached the common man. Instead, we see political ministers and televangelists making absurd biblical claims without anyone calling them accountable. Although over 90 percent of households in America own a Bible, it usually goes unread, or at best sanitized or bowdlerized to what people want it to say.

Unbeknownst to many Christians, many times the Gospels of the New Testament portray Jesus as vengeful, demeaning, intolerant, and hypocritical. In one section Jesus calls for love of enemies, yet in another to slay them. He tells others to not use hurtful names, yet he called others fools, dogs, and vipers. He calls for honoring parents in one verse, yet demands hate toward family members in another. ...

... the main character of the gospels, Jesus "Christ," gave no hint of consistency. The performances of Jesus describe the actions of a con-artist, gives obvious half-truths and then promises them salvation for their sacrifice. Moreover, the Biblical Jesus gives wrongful information, breaks promises, lies, calls people unsavory names, orders killings, and threatens to kill children. He gave questionable advice about income, marriage, and future plans and he ended his short life in tragic suicidal death.

Many Christians object to any criticism of their religion where they see only the bad without the good. But imagine that I saw a friend about to drink a poisoned glass of milk, even if the poison represented only a small percentage of the whole. Should I include the nutritious aspects of the milk in my warning? Of course not. And although I might replace my friend's poisoned milk with a glass of pure milk, this cannot be done with the Bible without acting dishonestly or ignorantly to the alleged infallibility of its words. And mind you, the problems do not come from a small percentage of the whole, but the majority. One obvious solution exists, as difficult as it may seem, but that means a rejection of the Bible as an honest attempt to get at the truth. It must come with an honest and brave look at the flaws of its central protagonists: Yahweh and Jesus.

Jesus claimed to have performed miraculous cures, turned water into wine, raising Lazarus to life, etc., but even a mediocre magician could perform the same "miracles." The education and world knowledge of Jesus does not remotely compare with that of an average high-school graduate of today. Although the peasant Jesus supposedly read and spoke Aramaic as well as Hebrew and possibly Greek, no writings from the alleged Jesus exist. He originated no new information, no new morality or solutions to the world. His most original aspect, perhaps, went towards expanding the horrific idea of the damnation of Hell, a dubious honor to behold. He had only rudimentary knowledge of his world and certainly no scientific sophistication. In short, nothing about Jesus appears extraordinary and the words of the Bible give no reason for any special esteem.

Belief and faith can have such a powerful hold on many Christians that it sometimes resembles an addiction to a powerful drug. In such cases, nothing can shake the addiction to their belief in Jesus, regardless of the teeth of Biblical evidence against him. But remember that just a few decades ago, a man named Hitler also held a fascination by faithful followers. Although, Hitler fought against Jews and created war, many followers dismissed these things for what they saw in him as "good." Hitler himself said "I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." (Mein Kampf). He held a love for the German people and brought them out of poverty, acted kindly towards pet dogs, and ate as a vegetarian. Should we ignore the atrocities from Hitler and honor him? Of course not. And neither should we do the same from a character from any book, including Bibles.

The problems of belief do not come from Bibles, Jesus, or Satan but rather from human gullibility. We have a tendency to believe that ideas and words equal great truths. But words cannot convey ultimate truths anymore than a map can serve as the territory. Our beliefs play out a dangerous aspect of humanity and the responsibility for them must lie with ourselves. Megalomaniacs like Hitler could not have gotten into power without the faith of millions of people. So also, the beliefs in the Biblical Jesus can influence the trigger of the greatest destruction of all: the self-fulfilling prophesy of the end of the world. Let us hope that we gain the ability to use our reasoning ability instead of naive unexamined belief for such a flawed character in a book.”

For further reading if interested, the full article can be found at: []

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: pan ()
Date: October 06, 2004 08:38PM

Very thought provoking stuff, YellowBeard.

I have a theory. When we're born, we have a built in mechanism to cry for help from big, all-powerful beings outside of ourselves - our parents. They are our perfect problem solvers.

Maybe we have an instinct for looking up to powers greater than ourselves, and that instinct is what helps us survive through childhood.

When we become adults, the instinct is still there, but we no longer accept our parents as perfect problem solvers, so we turn elsewhere, to a bigger and better Father. That's where cult leaders and supreme beings come in. They plug in to an instinct we have to be embraced by a loving force that will keep us safe and provide for all our needs. Cults and churches are perfect families under the wing of that parent figure, the perfect problem solver.

If you think about it, what we ask of God is not so far off from what children ask of Mommy and Daddy: feed us, clothe us, shelter us, protect us from our enemies, love us even when we're hard to love, and always be around when we need you.

Anyways, back to the discussion of Jesus.

In Matt 24:34, Jesus says:


Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

To me what that seems to say is that Jesus thought the world was going to end within fifty years or so. Sounds a bit like a dooms-day cult. And of course the world did not end when he thought it would. (Whew!)

I love the Asimov quote you posted:


Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

That's funny.

But to defend Jesus a little:

From my own study of the bible, it seems to me that Jesus' basic message was a message of love. He said a bunch of positive stuff. Some of his parables are easy to understand. Others are a bit weird, but when he talks in a [u:76fe36834f]parable[/u:76fe36834f] about slaying people, I don't think it's totally fair to say he advocates slaying people.

When he says this...


Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

...that too is not meant literally. He's not talking about killing people. I think he just means that his doctrine is new and revolutionary and is going to disrupt things.

As a philosopher, Jesus said many useful things. The poison milk metaphor doesn't seem exactly on target to me. My view is you take the good and leave the bad.

The golden rule is quite useful. What Jesus said about loving your enemies and turning the other cheek is beautiful.

But do go on with your Jesus-bashing, if I may call it that. It's a topic I've never heard openly discussed before, so it's definitely worth hearing viewpoints on it.

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: LaughingWillow ()
Date: October 07, 2004 08:15AM

I read an article writen by a team of historians and psychologists...and they found:

Evidence that Jesus had paraphrenia (violent type of schizophrenia)

he was a vey dogmatic peson with a violent personality..carring-on about end of the world, proclaming to be God's son....and a message of hell..mostly. Later followers suger-coated his message in the bible

he was not nailed to the cross cause in that time..they did not use nails to crusify people but tied them to a cross and torchered them.

well historians believe that he was released by the roman emperor becaise he knew how much the jews disliked him. Romans and Jews were not friends

Historians speculate that Jesus was told by the romans that He was resurected after awaking from his beatings.....and of couse..with his psychosis and super-inflated ego...he believed him and he walked arouind saying so. as planned this caused a further split among the Jews. Psychotic Jesus became a political puppet of the Roman empire.

Psychologists matched up what the historians found in Jesus's core personality to the book of revelations..they believe now that that the book of revelations was the first book in the new testiment to be writen. So if that is true that would explain the book of revelations very epic halucination

Historians also think that Jesus met Paul personaly in his later years to continue his legacy.

the words of Jesus were sugar-coated and reconstructed in some parts by his followers to make him appear more pleasant

Some of you may think that I am sacreligious....that is fine you are entitled to your beliefs...but I think this evedence explains why Christianity is very prone to cults....because it was a deliusioed, halucinating, dude that said he was God's son that started it all.

If you dont agree thats fine, but to me, it is worth thinking about

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: YellowBeard ()
Date: October 13, 2004 01:16PM

Pan wrote:


I have a theory. When we're born, we have a built in mechanism to cry for help from big, all-powerful beings outside of ourselves - our parents. They are our perfect problem solvers. Maybe we have an instinct for looking up to powers greater than ourselves, and that instinct is what helps us survive through childhood. When we become adults, the instinct is still there, but we no longer accept our parents as perfect problem solvers, so we turn elsewhere, to a bigger and better Father. That's where cult leaders and supreme beings come in.

Excellent theory and well articulated. Thanks for sharing it here. Never quite thought about it from this angle. I really think you're on to something.

Discussing these issues with someone a year ago or so, he mentioned that there is something about the idea of God that short circuits the brain. He was right. Try it out yourself; think of God and the brain goes numb a bit in some ways. Critical thinking is shut off. I never really had any type of explanation for this, I could just see it happen.

If this is an instinctual survival mechanism from childhood, that would explain this type of reaction. Our critical thinking abilities needed to be shut off at these early stages of life. We needed to be totally receptive open vessels.

God is the mental projection of that supreme authority figure (this also happens in non-religious authoritarian areas as well as Corboy pointed out earlier in this thread). So we react to that idea in the same fashion as we did when we were infants. Human beings are so intelligent, yet when filled with this idea of a supreme authority figure, people say and do the most silliest and nonsensical things. I've always wondered why the intelligence of human beings could not penetrate through grossly simplistic and outrageous religious mythologies. But looking at this as an instinctual response that curtails critical thinking as an aid to survival in our early years, I can understand why this happens. Before I didn't know what to think. What you've come up with here makes a lot of sense.

Pan wrote:


As a philosopher, Jesus said many useful things. ... What Jesus said about loving your enemies and turning the other cheek is beautiful.

Did he say useful things? Is turning your cheek when someone hits you beautiful? When someone beats their spouse and the spouse becomes submissive -- is that beautiful? When a government goes out of control and starts putting people in labor camps simply because of their ethnicity, should we turn our cheek?

You say he said useful things as a philosopher. If you said that he said amusing things as a poet, that might be a reasonable statement. But living by this philosophy is not only potentially personally destructive, but potentially destructive to others as well by you 'turning the cheek' to their plight. The idea sounds beautiful on the surface, but when you really think about it, it's anything but beautiful.

If we turned our cheek to the slaps of cult leaders (and other megalomaniacs), they would keep on slapping and we'd find ourselves in a very dark world indeed. My idea of beauty is a little different than what Jesus proposed. I feel opposing tyranny is much more beautiful than being trampled by it.

LaughingWillow wrote:


I read an article writen by a team of historians and psychologists...and they found:

Evidence that Jesus had paraphrenia (violent type of schizophrenia)

Thanks for mentioning this. I found this very interesting piece on the subject from "Psychology of Prophetism" by Koenraad Elst:

Paraphrenia is a fairly rare mental affliction in which the patient develops a delusion (mostly genetic, i.e. concerning his parents or ancestry), which is triggered and fed by only rarely occurring hallucinatory crises. Starting from this delusion, he builds up an entire system complete with interpretative delusions (misreading events to make them fit, rather than disturb, the basic delusion). Otherwise he remains well-integrated in his environment. Paraphernia is sometimes classified in the larger category of “paranoia” and opposed to schizophrenia. In contrast to the schizophrenic, the paraphrenic remains adapted to his milieu, has a coherent thinking and a well-organized behaviour. Generally hallucinations are rare, but initiate a delusional state, often with a grandiose genetic theme. The paraphrenic is very sensitive to opposition to his ideas; he is therefore somewhat secretive, and often full of resentment and hate. This is exactly the image the Gospel has painted of Jesus.

If we assume this diagnosis, which is suggested by several striking events in Jesus’ life, and extend it to understand his whole life story, the Gospel narrative becomes coherent. One hypothesis will suffice to explain diverse elements for which the exegetes now need a whole string of hypotheses: methodologically, that is a very strong point.

Today, the theologians have caught themselves in a construction of difficult and contradictory hypotheses that is convincing no one. The fundamentalists who refuse to think and therefore just take the whole Bible as God’s own word, ridicule the theologians with all their difficult terminology invented to create a conceptual framework in which the diverse and contradictory Bible narratives might make sense. The real scientist is equally unimpressed by the patchwork of hypotheses to which the theologians resort in order to make sense of the Gospel narrative. The paraphrenia hypothesis takes care of the entire Gospel narrative at once.

Jesus had, on all hands, a problem with the identity of his father. In the apocrypha, he is called “son of a whore”. According to the Jewish tradition, he was the son of the Roman soldier Pandera and the local girl Miriam (Mary), the hairdresser. The existence of a Roman soldier with that name has actually been verified. A few years after the start of the Christian Era, he was transferred to the legion in Germany, where a grave bearing his name has been found: perhaps the only left-over of the Holy Family. At any rate, the Gospel narrative is explicit enough that Jesus’ conception was a matter of scandal: his social father Joseph wanted to break off his engagement with Mary when he found she was pregnant. In a village, such a circumstance could not possibly be kept secret from the child Jesus. In the playground he must have been reminded often enough of being an illegitimate child.

The first sign that Jesus is trying to work out his inner problem with his parentage, and at the same time that people think there is mentally something wrong with him, is his visit to the temple at age 12. For lack of a physical father, the only father that was left to him was the Creator, Yahweh. Like many boys of his age, he wanted to know more about his origins, and he looked for information in the Scriptures. When he went to the temple, he went to the house of his Father. There, he expected to learn more from the Scribes. The questions he asked them must have sounded strange to them. Jesus was hanging around for three days, without telling his parents anything. And when he returned home and his family got angry for his causing them so much worry, he replied: “Don’t you know I belong in my Father’s house?” He claimed the right to solve his own identity problem, even if that implied insensitivity to others’ feelings. At that age, this behaviour is not abnormal, except that few youngsters would have taken Scriptural imagery so literally as to believe that their personal fatherhood problems could be solved by identifying God as the missing father.

The little bit of information about this childhood episode indicates a prodrome of the later crisis. By itself, the temple episode need not be pathological, it could have been a fairly ordinary event in the difficult puberty process of self-discovery. But it does betray a psychological setting in which a deeper mental disease can develop.

The first real crisis we hear of, is the baptism in the river Jordan. There, Jesus sees a bird coming from the opened sky, and hears a voice bringing an enormous message: “You are my son, in whom I take pleasure.” Seeing light, perceiving a bird (zooscopy), hearing a voice with a short message in the second person and which is absolute and takes away all doubts: that is the description of a typical sensorial hallucination.

The famous Flemish theologian Edward Schillebeeckx sees in the baptism episode “Jesus’ vocation meaningfully surrounded by interpretative visions”. This implies that the visions were literary embellishment, meaningful but nonetheless unhistorical and invented by human beings. Progressive theologians like Schillebeeckx abhor the traditionalist more literal interpretation. They dislike supernatural things like “visions” and voices from the sky. But with that, they fail to give a coherent explanation of why this imagery is being created (and why, as we have seen, John tries to make his audience believe that the events were very real). In this case, the literal interpretation is the more scientific one: the bird did appear, the voice did speak from the sky - but only as a subjective experience of the mental patient Jesus, rather than as an objective cosmic revelation directly from God the Creator.

In the Bible numerous texts mention the hearing of voices, especially the voice of God. Current exegesis interprets these texts as metaphorical: “hearing the voice of God” is simply the expression for a vocation by God. Sometimes, this metaphorical interpretation is justified: to take an example from outside the Biblical tradition, when the Greek philosopher Parmenides says that “a god has revealed” his philosophy of Being to him, it is just a manner of speaking, not an actual auditory hallucination. In psychopathology however, “hearing a voice” is a common expression for an auditory hallucination, often accompanied by other sensorial hallucinations, esp. visions (other phenomena include feeling of heat or of being pierced by needles). That the voices heard by Jesus were hallucinatory, is even admitted by Albert Schweitzer.

Important supportive information for the paraphrenia thesis is furnished by the apocryphal Gospel of the Hebrews. It relates that Jesus’ family thinks he is possessed by a demon, and that they want him to try this baptism as a possible way of exorcising the demon; he is at first unwilling (all accounts mention a preliminary discussion between Jesus and John the Baptist). It seems that Jesus’ behaviour had been strange for some time already, and now that there is an exorcist in the neighbourhood, the remedy should be tried: if it doesn’t help, it doesn’t harm either. But the emotionally charged baptism experience triggers a “revelation” that will plunge Jesus completely into a distorted self-image.

Typical for the delusion that gets articulated in such a sensorial hallucination, is the absolute certainty with which the patient believes in it. Jesus will doubt no more: he is the son of the heavenly Father. Later, when a Church theology was developed, this notion of God as the personal Father was made into a central theme in Christianity, setting it apart from the Mosaic ‘Old Covenant’. In the latter, God was a vengeful ruler, who only stood by His chosen people on condition of its total obedience. Now, God became a loving Father. What this interpretation of the baptism revelation overlooked, is that the vengefulness of Yahweh was now transferred to His Son. Jesus did not have an army, like Mohammed, but he was very intolerant of skepsis and full of hatred against the indifferent world. In his own hallucinations, he himself would be the avenger on the Day of Judgment.

After the baptism crisis, Jesus retires to the desert, where he doesn’t eat for forty days, and gets visions of angels serving him and the devil tempting him. This period of extreme introversion after the shocking hallucination, as if to digest his new self-understanding, is again very typical. He is offered nothing less than the power over the whole world, but he turns down the offer. This is a typical rationalized delusion, with a reasoning which we can imagine along these lines: “To me the power over the world has been given. Then why do I not effectively have the power? Because I spurned it, though it is rightfully mine and I could have taken it.” Still, the subsequent episodes show that he has started ascribing extra-ordinary powers to himself.

Dr. Somers makes the diagnosis: “Psychopathological investigation discovers in Mark, Luke and Matthew, regardless of the fact that Luke especially adapted the original version, a number of well-known symptoms of a hallucinatory state: hearing the voice of the devil, seeing wild beasts (zoopsy), having the desire to fly (vestibular hallucinations, having visions of the ‘whole world’, suffering from anorexia (fasting). In this light, the vision of the baptism episode is also certainly another manifestation of this hallucinatory state: a well-localized (heavenly) vision, the seeing of light (opening of heaven), of a bird, the hearing of a voice speaking in the second person and communicating a grandiose genetic message (‘you are my beloved son’). The whole picture is coherent with regard to the psychopathological symptoms. In the text therefore, one finds the correct description of a delusional hallucinatory state. Moreover, the Gospel also mentions circumstances which are coherent with this pathology.”

After this bewildering revelation, Jesus starts to live up to his new self-image. He becomes a wandering god-man, doing miracles.

The next hallucinatory crisis is on Mount Tabor. He goes up on the mountain with his disciples Peter, James and John. There, in a sea of white light, he meets with Elijah and Moses. Again, a voice from the clouds speaks: “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him.” According to Luke (9:28-36), Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah about ‘his going-out which he would perform in Jerusalem. Then, the scene stops and Jesus is alone with his disciples, who have not seen Moses and Elijah: they merely wake up when they hear Jesus talk to somebody. In the testimony of Mark (9:2-10) there is the same revealing contradiction: while it is contended that Elijah and Moses appeared, only Jesus is described and it is said that finally the apostles saw nobody but Jesus.

This crisis marks the beginning of the predictions of Jesus’ suffering and death, which had been the topic of his conversation with Moses and Elijah. Taking inspiration from a description of the “Servant of Yahweh” in Isaiah (53:7), he understands he will be led unto his slaughter like a lamb. He reads into Scripture the indication that the Son of Man will go into his glory through suffering and meek submission to this expiatory sacrifice. According to the logic of the delusion, he must now go to Jerusalem and provoke his death by entering as king. He predicts he will rise on the third day and thus enter his Kingdom.

A third report of a hallucinatory crisis is only given by John (12:20-36). During the entry in Jerusalem he hears the voice of the Father saying: “I have glorified him and will glorify him again.” The people said it had thundered, some said an angel had spoken to him, i.e. to Jesus. So it was only Jesus who had heard the words.

Contemporary theologians like E. Schillebeeckx ascribe these stories to the imagination of the primitive Church, which wanted to glorify Jesus. But, asks Dr. Somers: “Why should the Church invent a number of stories which caused nothing but difficulties? Why should the son of God be baptized? Why should he be tempted by the devil, and that with such extravagant temptations? Why should he fast during 40 days? Why should he see wild beasts? It is quite inconceivable that the primitive Church invented these strange stories for the glorification of Jesus. On the contrary, the primitive Church leaders tried to interpret and to adapt the existing story in order to demonstrate the divine origin of these phenomena. Of a hallucinatory visionary state, they made objective supernatural events. But they were sufficiently ignorant so that they could not mask the pathological background of the events they recounted.”

These hallucinations, few in number but elaborating the same theme, together with the testimonies of people thinking he is “possessed” or mentally disturbed, point to the paraphrenia syndrome. What confirms this tentative diagnosis and makes it into the first coherent explanation of the entire Jesus narrative, is Jesus’ behaviour.

The paraphrenic patient has some marked characteristics, other than the rare hallucinations and the delusional state, e.g.: a great hostility against those who contradict him, often also a familial rage, as the family usually contradicts him; autistic behaviour, in the sense that the criterion for judgment and action is not reality, but his subjective will; an interpretative delirium, i.e. interpreting events and utterances as pointing to him and to his delusion; concealing his conviction and temporizing as long as circumstances seem unfriendly. All these typical features can be found in the Gospel.

Jesus threatens Bethsaida, Kapharnaum, Jerusalem, because they did not believe him. If the Son of Man comes with heavenly power, all those who did not believe will be killed, along with all kings and mighty men. Jesus insults the Pharisees, because they disbelieve and criticize him. Jesus is especially angry with his family which tried to prevent his preaching. A number of logia (= sayings of Jesus) are directed against the family, and in the Gospel one cannot find any friendly word to the family and especially to his mother. Spurning his mother and brothers who are waiting at the door, he points to his disciples: “These are my mother and my brothers, who accomplish the will of God” (Mk 3:35). The disciples of Jesus should hate their fathers and their mothers (Lk 14:26) because the true enemies of man are his family members (Mt 10:35; see also Mk 11:30; Mt 10:35; Mk 13:11).

A highly irrational act is Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree when, out of season, it is not bearing fruit (Mk 16:20-25; Mt 21:18-22). The tree is behaving normally, but Jesus punishes it: never again will it bear fruit.

Jesus is also violently sensitive to things relating to his supposed Father. The violent scene he makes against the traders in the temple (Mk 11:15-17; Mt 21:12-13; Lk 19:45-46), where he objects against the transportation of any object, is motivated by what he perceives as their dishonouring his Father’s house. Modem preachers say that Jesus was protesting against materialism, that he was making an important ethical and religious statement. But in fact, Jesus’ behaviour vis-a-vis the traders in the temple premises was highly unadapted to reality. Those traders were not doing anything unethical or irreligious. They had an important function in temple life, where sacrifices were the normal and statutory practice. Even if their activities had been misplaced, so was Jesus’ tirade that they were making “his Father’s house” into a “robbers’ den”: traders are not necessarily robbers, theirs is an honourable profession, and eventhough God may be our Father, we shouldn’t take disrespect for God’s house so personally.

Another, more specific detail is that he attempts to keep his status as Son of Man secret: “Do not talk about this with anyone”, he says several times. Only when his disciples, and later the priests during his trial, ask him straight if he is God’s son, he consents, saying that they have said it. But to theologians, it has always remained a riddle why Jesus should be so secretive about his glorious mission. Paraphrenia patients are very aware of the attitude (and possible lack of understanding) of their fellow men. That is why Jesus temporizes, in expectation of more auspicious circumstances.

A final symptom is the anti-sexual attitude. As the studies of Bultmann have shown, the primitive church has cleansed, adapted a number of logia. A relevant example is provided by the logia about the children and the reign of God: unless you become like children, you cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. In the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, some logia have been preserved which explain the periscopes of the Gospels: to be a child is to be asexual and free of sexual shame (log. 12, 21; cfr. also log. 37, 114: if you make masculine and feminine one). In the canonical Gospels it is also said that in heaven there is no marriage, and virginity is exalted, as it is in the Apocalypse. The theme is constant: virginity, inhibition of sexual activity, as well in the canonical Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas as in the Apocalypse.

Jesus’ behaviour during his trial is in conformity with the diagnosis. We should keep in mind that from the vision on Mount Tabor onwards, Jesus has been mentally preparing himself for death. The priests accuse him of blasphemy: he has insulted Yahweh by calling himself His son. Normally, they have to produce witnesses to prove this extremely serious allegation. But Jesus saves them the trouble: he commits an even greater sacrilege right on the spot, by pronouncing God’s name aloud. Strictly following the prescribed procedure, the high priest tears his mantle into two. Jesus stands convicted of sacrilege. The Gospels make no secret about Jesus’ guilt of this sacrilege, which was well known to be a capital offence.

He commits what is blasphemy before the priests, with a straight face, because he is fully prepared to die. For months he has been mentally readying himself for it, announcing that this would be the road to his glorification. When you think death is the end, the prospect of dying may be a bit horrifying. But when you think it is the way to the glory, it is alright: “Death, where is thy sting?” His frankness in the face of a certain death penalty must certainly have added to his superhuman aura.

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: Templar ()
Date: October 14, 2004 05:53AM

The single most fatal flaw of Religion in general is that it is man made, and therefor inherently imperfect.

Christianity and religion in general's inherent problems
Posted by: LaughingWillow ()
Date: October 20, 2004 09:04PM

thank you for posting the whole article on "psychology of Jesus" It is a rare honest look at religion..nit just christianity...but one can use these critical thinking guidelines to examine the roots of a religion.

Like take Buddhism ..Siddharra goes around homeless for many years seeking "truth" then he sits under a tree and goes into a trance and "knows the meaning of life"

He collects converts....and the basis of the religion is weak minded

He taught all life is suffering...but to prevent suffering one must refrain from all attatchments to all things including relationsjips with family and friends..if this is done one will achieve reincarnation

obviosly he was not playing with the full deck either

In hinduism ...which is pronne to cults as well...most of modern hinuism is based off of this book which has this story of a noble that is "visited" by of the main gods....and was told that he must kill his family member to remain in his throne.

Those are a sampling of religions that begun with a bablbing nutcase

I do how ever believe in a godlike universal forse ...I can not deny this existance because of somethings that happened in my life.

BUT religious systems are based on superstitious and mentaly flawed concepts by what appers to be mentaly ill people proclaiming to be god, or knowing the ultimate asnwer to the riddle of life.....this pretty much covers all cults religious or not

No one person has all the answers...and if they claim to....they are more than liars but egotistical devaints of logic

Some writer once said...God has not given us the abiklity to reason only to forgo its use


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