It has been said that when we deified the man Jesus, we lost the Christ
It’s the Christmas Season and billions of people all over the globe are getting ready to celebrate Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday. Presents, family gatherings, candle lighting services at church; the Christmas Story of the baby Jesus in the manger,the Virgin Mary, the 3 wise men and the shepherds all gathered to celebrate the birth of the Son of God. Its a great story, a major part of the culture of Western Civilization. But is the birthday of a man the real point of Christmas?
Did the Greatest Story Ever Told even happen? Almost certainly not, according to the foremost historians and Biblical Scholars using what we have learned from archaeology, modern carbon dating and the 135 new Gospels that have been found and translated. The story we love is a delightful legend.
What is a Christian and how do you know if you are one? Sounds like an obvious question but it is far from obvious or simple. According to the 5 Fundamentals published in 1905 you may only consider yourself a Christian if you believe:
Jesus Christ is God (the Deity of Christ)
Jesus was born of virgin
Scripture is inerrant (without error of any kind)
Jesus died on the cross substituting for us and atoning for our sins.
Jesus was physically resurrected and will personally return to Earth
If you disagree with one of these assertions, then you cannot call yourself a Christian according to the Fundamentalists. Do you think Jesus of Nazareth would agree with any of these fundamentals? I very much doubt it!
Can you be an authentic Christian without believing in any or all of these statements published by 10 old men in 1905?
I would submit that it would be difficult to be an authentic Christian if you did believe these 5 Fundamentals. So what is a Christian according to Rev. Dore’? Please remember that this is my theology; it does not have to be yours.
Yeshua Ben Nazareth, the man we call Jesus Christ, was never a Christian, not for one day of his life. He was born a Jew under the Mosaic Law, ordained a Rabbi by the High Priest Hillel, lived, preached and died a Jew under the Law. As such the idea of being the literal Son of God would be the worst kind of blasphemy, punishable by stoning.
The Master came to bring Light and Love to a world where might always made right, where the powerful exerted their will over the weak and where there was little hope for change or relief. He also came to humanize and bring compassion to Judaism; a noble religion grown arthritic with dogma, cannon law and the insistence on the letter of the Law, not the spirit. He came to save Judaism from itself; not to start a new religion. He did not come to atone for our sins by blood sacrifice but to bring the Love and Light of God to humankind.
The Jesus I know in my heart would never be a Christian today because he would understand that Christianity was just as encrusted with dogma, rules, judgement and an overbearing priestly class as was the Judaism of his day. He despised the High Priests and the Pharisees so we created new ones in Christianity. He despised all Law and no heart but we have excommunications, shunning, condemnation of those who travel their own spiritual path or are different.
The Master cared for the lowest and weakest of the people. He consorted and ate with tax collectors (the most despised people in Judea) , harlots, Lepers and even Roman Centurions; the oppressors of the Jews. Today, Christianity still condemns and ostracizes those God has created with different ways of expressing their humanity.
An authentic Christian cares little for dogma or ceremony or dress codes but cares deeply for his fellow human being. The authentic Christian cares nothing for parsing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or whether Genesis is fact or creation myth but cares so deeply for a human in pain that when anyone cries out in hunger, pain or oppression they taste the salt of their tears.
The authentic Christian tries as best they can to live the teachings of Jesus. That is the glory and majesty of Christ’s ministry…..the teaching of tolerance, the belief in one Universal God for all humankind, the understanding that as we judge our brother or sister we judge ourselves. The authentic Christian understands that we all miss the mark, we all fall short and that compassion and understanding is far better than Hell Fire and Brimstone.
The authentic Christian walks, as much as possible, in the path of the Master Teacher of the World, Jesus the Christ, who led the first great spiritual revolution in history. That revolution is still going on but not in most Christian Churches today.
If you would understand the authentic Christian think of the congregation of the AME Church in Charleston, SC who watched with horror as their Pastor and 7 of their brothers and sisters were gunned down by a tortured soul. Not a word of condemnation passed their lips, they forgave the shooter and prayed for him.
How many of us could do that? How many Christians that you know could do that? These magnificent Christians suffered terrible horror and loss but would not retreat to the primitive “eye for an eye”; no they “turned the other cheek” and forgave. They did not talk about Christianity; they lived it!
I am a minister and I have done much good work but I cannot carry the shoes of the Pastor of that AME church in Charleston who taught her people the authentic Way of The Master and even in the most dire of situations her people embodied and lived those lessons. That is a true Christian teaching authentic Christianity.
I am a Religious Science Minister and most Christians would deny that I am a Christian because I cannot and do not subscribe to the 5 Fundamentals. But I do subscribe wholeheartedly to the Way of the Master; the teaching of Jesus The Christ and to me that makes me the very best and most authentic Christian.
May you walk in the footsteps of the Master each and every day of your life. God give you peace, prosperity and abundant health.
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida Visit YouTube.com/revdore to enjoy my 125 video podcasts. Have a Dore’ Marathon!
The Scripture that we call the Holy Bible is the best selling book on the planet. Why has this book, revered by Jew, Christian and Muslim alike, captured the attention of much of humankind?
Is the Bible a book of literal fact, handed down from God on High? Or is it a wonderful rule and guide for our lives, a book of spiritual wisdom? However you read the Bible; we can all agree that it is one of the most powerful books ever written. Its influence is global.
Let’s define what the Bible is and is not. First it is an anthology, not a purpose written book. There are hundreds of authors of the Bible, which was written over 1500 years. The Old Testament and the New Testament are not even from the same religion. The OT and the NT are the two main divisions of the Bible and they often totally contradict each other. “Eye for an Eye” in the OT and “turn the other cheek” in the NT. Which to follow?
The OT is the Jewish Scripture, including the Torah (first 5 Books) which is the word of God handed down to Moses according to Jewish tradition and belief. The later Old Testament books detail the Mosaic Law, early Jewish History and the later prophets. There is nothing of Christianity in the Old Testament because it had not yet been invented!
The NT is a totally Christian document written by Jews who became the adherents and followers of Jesus of Nazareth and his sect of Judaism called “The Way”. This may surprise some readers but Jesus was not a Christian, in fact he never heard of Christianity. He was born a Jew, ordained a Jewish Rabbi, lived and died a Jew. He never sought to begin a new religion but rather to reform Judaism, which had become stiff, rigid and legalistic.
Jesus’ ministry was to humanize Judaism by adding love, mercy and tolerance to what had become by 30AD a harsh jot and tittle religion of High Priests and their legal scholars. His ministry was to throw open the doors of Judaism and let the fresh air of love and light rejuvenate a noble and ancient religion.
Saul of Tarsus, the man that we call Paul, is credited with virtually inventing Christianity, as we understand it. This may give him a tad too much credit but it is true that fully 58% of the New Testament is believed to have been authored by Paul. He took The Way, a sect of Judaism, and turned it into a totally new religion designed to appeal to the gentiles (non-Jews) from all over the Roman Empire.
To say that he was fabulously successful is an understatement. His stamp is all over every aspect of Christianity, sin debt and the Redemption of mankind, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Deity of Jesus, the establishment of the Churches….all these were Pauline ideas.
It is safe to say that without Paul there would have been no Christianity.
So is the Bible the inerrant (without error) Word of God? The facts do not support this conclusion but belief is stronger than evidence for many people. Personally, I believe that human beings have deep spiritual experiences that are soul deep and often write of these encounters with the Infinite. Holy Scriptures around the world are therefore records of deep soul experiences by human beings experiencing the Divine.
God is not an author but a creator of the most magnificent creatures ever conceived…..you and I. We write of Divine encounters, of world’s never known, of things thought impossible and then we make them real. Surely we are made from the very stuff of God to do this. That is what makes the Holy Bible holy; that human beings, fallible yes, but touched by the Spirit wrote such a wonderful spiritual guide.
The Bible and all scripture are the Great Lights of the World. They are not to be taken as history or fact but understood as moral guides and spiritual food. Humankind would be the poorer without these wonderful records of the interaction of Spirit and humanity.
Use Scripture wisely and for love, never for hatred and destruction because such ideas are never from God. Too many people in our era do their evil under the cover of one Scripture or another. God never sanctions the murder of anyone, especially a child. God never wishes one religion to rule the world…if He or She had wished this, there would be only one religion. God is love, never hate, God is plenty, never want, God is joy, never sorrow, God is creation, never destruction.
Your Mind is the Mind of God, Your heart is the Heart of God, your Love is the Love of God…….God and You are One!
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota Florida
Until we are together again check out my 125 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore and log on to CSL.org to find out more about the Science of Mind and Religion Science. You will feel like you have come home at last.
Even though we are only 3 months from 2016 as I write this, there is still a hot debate over evolution. There are many millions, if not billions, who simply reject the entire idea that species evolve as conditions change and designs prove their efficacy or are rejected by natural selection. I know its true! I can see evolution’s work every day in my back yard!
When I look out my back windows or sit out on my Lanai overlooking our lovely pond surrounded with Maple trees (yes we do have maple trees) I can see our Florida Squirrels scampering up and down the trees doing what squirrels do everywhere. Where Northern or Western Squirrels have big, magnificent bushy tails, their Florida cousins have skinny little tails that have more in common with a rat than the squirrels I knew in California.
Heat and humidity and bushy tails just don’t work in Florida so our squirrels have evolved with just the remnant of the usual tail. Our crows don’t call the way every other crow calls. Our birds have long legs for wading in water. Everything adapts to a new environment or dies.
Why the argument? Well the Creationists believe that if evolution is fact, then God is negated. Why? Could not God, who creates all things, have created the system of evolution? What if evolution is God’s update system, rather like our periodic updates to our computers and tablets? Science and God are not antithetical but are rather complementary.
Let’s agree on one thing: if indeed there is a God, He or She is not stupid. God certainly did not create the world as it is portrayed in the ancient Sumerian myth that we call Genesis. But that does not mean that God does not exist.
I absolutely know that there is a First Cause, a Divine Mind, a Creator of all that exists because the Universe is just too well engineered and planned to be random. DNA is one of the greatest engineering feats of all time.
Could we do that? We can manipulate DNA but we can not design it. We, with all our science and all our technology, cannot even get to Mars much less the stars. This will undoubtedly change as it becomes a priority and moves to the top to the human “to do” list.
We can manipulate that which is already created by the Creator but we do not and can not create. God will still have a job and a place in our hearts as long as there are things to create and people to use them, enjoy them and cherish them.
Yes, Evolution is a fact and so is God. God is the author of Evolution, it is Her update and regeneration system. Without it the Earth would by this time be a barren ball of dust, devoid of life. Life, evolution and the Universe are not zero-sum games.
Think well, speak well and do well. This is really the secret of life
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida Catch all of my 121 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore Why not have a Rev. Dore’ marathon?
But we’ve always done it this way! How often have you heard this? I hear it daily and it makes me crazy! Why? Because as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. Was he saying that people who are incapable of “thinking outside the box” are stupid or ignorant? No, I believe that he was saying that they are prisoners of precedent; journeymen on the beaten path of life unable to deviate from the familiar, the safe and the comfortable.
If that is how one chooses to live that is their choice. It might be a rather hum-drum life however, because the beaten path holds little adventure or drama. It’s safe but rather boring I should think. It is also the death knell of societies and institutions.
The only real constant in the Universe is change. As the Bible tells us, “as above, so below” which means that the laws the govern the Cosmos also govern life on Earth. Evolution is the natural order of all things: living beings, ideas, mores, societies, institutions and civilizations. Those who refuse to evolve die!
The Koala Bear is a fine example of a charming, cuddly little creature that shows no ability to change or evolve. It spends its entire life in a Eucalyptus tree and eats only Eucalyptus leaves, even drawing its water from them. When the “gum trees”, as the Aussies call them, die so will these cute little bear like rodents. With climate change a certainty, change in all areas of life is no longer optional.
Humans are perhaps the only creatures on Earth not bound by precedent. We don’t have to live in one place and eat one thing. We don’t have to think the same thoughts as our ancestors, have the same beliefs, or follow the same outmoded moral code. We don’t have to worship Deity the way our distant cousins 2015 yeas ago did.
We can write a new chapter, film a new movie, create a new way of life. Yes, change can be scary and disruptive and it’s no wonder that many of us are frightened by the lightening fast changes in our culture, our way of life and in our world. Many of us succumb to the “Golden Age Syndrome” as we fixate on a time or place when things were idyllic and life was perfect. We want to go back to an era that never existed, except in our mind’s eye.
There is an old saying that says: “you can’t go home again” and its true. Oh, yes you can literally move back to the old neighborhood but its not the old neighborhood anymore is it? The houses have been torn down or been renovated; the people no longer look just like you, and it just doesn’t feel like the neighborhood of your youth. I just experienced this feeling touring the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of my youth. Dore’ was no longer at home there.
The 50’s are often cited as the “golden age” of America. The G.I.’s came home by the millions in a matter of months in late 1945 and 1946 into a society suddenly thrust from a war footing to civilian life again. Nothing was available during the war; cars, appliances, tires, fuel, meat, all sorts of consumer goods were rationed or not available.
If you had a pulse you had a job; every factory was being retooled for civilian production and most jobs were union jobs with high wages and lush benefits. Post War America was a different world in which the USA was the only major industrial power never to feel the horrors and destruction of war, we were safe behind our oceans, we had “The Bomb” and were the masters of the world.
For some it was a golden age, but not so much if you were not of European descent. Prejudice was rampant in the 50’s of my youth. There were slur names for almost every nationality, even the White ones! A Catholic marrying a Protestant….scandal! A Jew moved in down the block or worse yet Hispanic or what we called Negros, when being polite! Wow, you could watch the For Sale signs bloom like dandelions on the lawns. Some Golden Age! More like the Age of judgement, conformity and sameness. And I grew up in Los Angeles; imagine life in New Orleans, Dallas or Atlanta in 1950!
You see, we just can’t stand still in this thing called life. There was a wonderful little book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” which became required reading in Corporate America. The lesson of this book is that if you are a mouse and the cheese moves, you best move to another supply of cheese or starve. Those who cling to the past are doomed, in the final analysis.
Change is the natural order of things, it is the way the Great Architect renews and refreshes His/Her Creations. Perhaps the way you always did it was not the best way. Have a new thought, try a new way. You just might surprise yourself and begin a whole new life full of joy, discovery and growth.
Until we are together again…..Remember, your life is the Life of God, your Love is the Love of God, your Mind is the Mind of God.
There is a thread of Truth that runs though all major religions and spiritual philosophies. From the wisdom of Plato to the Mystery Schools of Egypt; the wonderful love, Light and wisdom of the Zoroastrianism of Persia to today’s Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism there is a common thread of Spiritual Law and Truth.
Once we strip away the dress codes, the rules for worship, the do’s and don’ts we can see that each religion comes to the same conclusions about life, God and humanity; couched in different language and custom to suit differing cultures and peoples. The truth is that there is a Divine Mind, a First Cause that is the Creator.
Perhaps its a Life Force, perhaps a Great Soul or a Great Architect of the Universe but it is clear that something greater than the human mind engineered and designed this Universe and many others. Did we engineer DNA, the pattern of a snowflake, the perfect cocktail of gasses to allow life to thrive on Earth or the miracle of photosynthesis which creates the oxygen we must have?
Did we create the miracle of conception and birth, the perfect balance of plants absorbing CO2 and breathing Oxygen while we breathe Oxygen and exhale CO2? It’s just too perfect to be random.
Consider this: What is God was a just a nickname for Divine Mind, Universal Intelligence in which we live, move and have our being? What if we swam in this great Mind like a fish swims in the ocean? What if we lived every hour of our lives immersed in God as our cells are in us? Kind of blows your mind doesn’t it?
What if God is not our parent but the Mind of the Universe that creates all that is? This God would not punish or reward because only parents do that and God is not a parent. God would govern the Universe by Law, both physical and spiritual. What if we really did reap exactly what we sowed? The Law of Cause and Effect just may be the Mother Law of the Universe! God is the Cause and all that exists , including us, is the Effect. What if we have had it backwards all the time?
What if life does not happen to us? What if we happen to life? What if our thoughts, words and the choices that spring from them are the authors of our lives?
Could it be that we are the creators of our life experience, the “driving wheel” of our life? What if we are the producer, director and principal actor in our own movie of life?
These questions and thoughts are the essence of the perennial philosophy called New Thought, Unity, Religious Science, Science of Mind and Unity.
What if Science and Spirituality are heading to the same place? One through study of the Physical Laws of the Universe and the other through Spiritual Law?
You may live to see Science and Faith come together; we already practice these ideas every day in Religious Science and have for almost 300 years in one form or another.
What if Evolution was just God’s update system? Wow, consider that!
“Son, in each life a little rain must fall”. I cannot count how many times my wonderful, very Southern mother said this to me. This happened when I came in crying from school after the other kids tormented me because of my goofy name or that I was a “spastic”.
She was telling me that this moment of anger and hurt was not the end of the world; that life has its little storms but I must keep my chin up and all will be well in the morning. In other words “don’t sweat the small stuff….and it’s all small stuff”.
In our neighborhood of Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley lived two cast members of the Mickey Mouse Club television show. One was Annette, she was a wonderful friend to me and we spent lots of summer days in her swimming pool talking about growing up and life. The other cast member was famous for his long mop top and perhaps because of this he was a bully of the first order as a kid.
Every time he saw me he made it his business to beat the stuffing out of me! He was one tough son of a gun. I would run home, shirt bloody, crying and shaking from anger and fear. Mother’s solution was to tell me to stay away from him and I tried, but to no avail.
Dad had a different solution. He told me that the bullying won’t stop until you stand up to him. Now Dad was only 5′ 3″ tall so he knew a LOT about bullies in his youth. He said that the secret bullies never want you to know is that they are cowards at heart and feared blood and pain. Dad’s prescription was to let the Mouseketeer throw the first punch (never start a fight but always finish it) and then I should punch him in the nose as hard as I could because noses bleed profusely without causing much damage.
I got my courage up and did it! Dad was right! He ran home crying his eyes out and never bothered me again. In fact, we eventually became fast friends. We were taught to take care of ourselves and settle our own disputes in those days because it was a lesson in life. Of course kids weren’t “packing heat” in the 1950’s!
What do we do when our personal sky darkens and the rain comes? Here is my 3 step cure for a Life Storm:
1. Know that this too shall pass! When the stuff starts flying we feel like our lives are over; that this is the beginning of the end. It seems like the pothole in our path is a thousand feet deep and that we are helpless. Remember, the only constant in the Universe is change! This too will pass because nothing is forever. You will get through this unless you succumb to panic and lose hope….then you are done!
2. Stay out of fear! If there were a Satan or Devil it would be FEAR. No I don’t believe in fallen angels cast out of Heaven or Lucifer or Beelzabub. There is ONE power and presence is this Universe and that is the Divine Mind, First Cause, The Great Architect that we nickname God. All that exists begins in the mind of this spiritual Life Force and since we are expressions of that Life Force we create our lives in our minds in the exact same way.
Fear is the great enemy for it causes mental and spiritual paralysis. We experience the “deer in the headlight” syndrome. We stand transfixed with dread and terror and can do nothing to save ourselves. There is always a solution but only a calm mind and spirit can find it.
3. Take responsibility! Everything that happens in your life is your responsibility, which is not the same as blame or fault. Our society is obsessed with assigning blame in every situation, which I believe is a sign of our societal immaturity. Blame fixes nothing; it is a form of revenge taking and solves little. We blame others in order to deflect responsibility from the real cause…. US!
Every condition or event in our lives we created in the following three ways. First we actively created the situation with our thoughts, words and choices. We did it and we know we did it. Often we are rebelling from someone of something when this happens. I call this the “I don’t give a damn!” attitude.
Second, we promoted the stuff in our life by our attitudes, words or actions that we knew darn well would lead to exactly what we are now experiencing. For instance, you work for a company that values punctuality in its employees. But you are late 6 times in 2 months and then feel victimized when you are fired or laid off. Who created this? Yes, you did.
Third, we allow stuff to happen to us by having weak personal boundaries. This is co-dependent behavior which is a classic symptom of weak self esteem. Have you ever known someone who lurched from crisis to crisis all because they could not say no to anyone who needed help, money or just wanted to sponge off of them? This is a very common form of creating just the life we don’t want. Living as an enabler is like living life in a hospital emergency room.
No is one of the most important words in the English language. Healthy people can say no without guilt if it is something they do not want to do. You are responsible for you, no one else. Help where you can but recognize a lost cause when you see one.
Once you take responsibility for your life you have grown up spiritually and mentally. You are now free. You know that you paint the picture of your life stroke by stroke with your thought, word and deed. If you painted the picture you can change it. You are the artist. You are free at last. What you create you can change.
This is how you navigate the inevitable storms of Life. This too shall pass, stay out of fear and take responsibility!
Until we are together again, walk in the Light and Love of God in your coming and going, waking and sleeping.
Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian YouTube.com/revdore (check out my 112 video podcasts! Want to know more about Religious Science (Science of Mind)? Go to CSL.org and find the nearest Center for Spiritual Living near you.