>”The biggest hole is the premise and assumptions. It seems to be in reference to Jesus but not really because it seems to be more in reference the ‘Christian’ interpretation of Jesus.”
We have no contemporaneous (or even near-contemporaneous) non-Christian accounts of Jesus’ life save for a few passing mentions by historians. If early Christians and NT authors did not understand Jesus, nobody else can hope to, as they were much closer to the source than we’re able to get. Everybody alive now has only the NT authors descriptions and quotations of Jesus to go on, which come to us out the end of a 2,000 year old game of Telephone.
>”This false interpretation was never about the real interpretation of truth and freedom but about power and control.”
So you’re one of those guys who feels he understands Jesus better than the authors of the NT. You’ve ejected from the church, but are not content for Jesus to go down with the ship. I encounter these sometimes. More commonly people who want to jump ship from Christianity, but take Yahweh with them. I understand it as the "bargaining" stage in the grieving process.
>”In your approach you hint at calling this interpretation a cult or the like, which is fine as that’s pretty much what it is. The fault is in dismissing a particular man or his message because someone misinterpreted him or that message.”
I don’t reject (most of) the behavioral admonitions of Jesus. By and large I find them very wise and useful. I reject only the supernatural, foundational claims of the Christian religion and the viral way in which it’s structured. It appears designed in such a way as to persuade believers to spread it and resist opposition under false pretenses.
If what you believe is that Jesus was not merely a good moral teacher but in some way actually divine, the cult argument is actually only step 1 in a multi part argument concerning Jesus and Christianity.
Step 2 is demonstrating that Jesus predicted a near-term second coming which never took place: https://alexbeyman.medium.com/jesus-predicted-a-first-century-return-which-did-not-occur-cef5c54f15a3
>”The message being the only relevant part really.”
Not to people who fully, sincerely believe in the foundational claims of Christianity (including t he divinity of Jesus). You may assume with the best intentions that most of them are just trying to be good people, but talk to them one on one. You’ll swiftly discover they do in fact believe, sincerely, things you may have formerly assumed they couldn’t possibly be serious about.
Wars have been fought, people have been tortured or imprisoned, over theological disputes that seem irrelevant to people like you who are only in it for the moral teachings, but which are in fact unavoidably matters of grave importance if Heaven and Hell are real.
That everything apart from the core message is secondary or irrelevant to you, specifically, unfortunately doesn’t erase all of that from history or make it a non-issue.
Perhaps I am speaking to a young person who has not yet experienced the reality that what large numbers of people believe about an issue constitutes a real, physical, impassable barrier, even (or especially) if they are wrong. They do not disappear just because you or I feel they’re silly.
>”You see nothing that you hint at is anything remotely close to the true message, even though it has been the most popular.”
Many of the defining criteria of cults I cited are affirmed as practices of the early church through direct quotations of Jesus in the NT. In order to exonerate Jesus as a nice guy who never meant to start a cult, you need to conclude those quotations are fraudulent.
But If you do that for some of his quotations, why not all? On what grounds are you choosing which quotations are legitimate, except the a-priori goal to absolve Jesus of wrongdoing?
If instead we dismiss all of Jesus’ quotations as potentially suspect, there’s no way to know anything at all about what Jesus was like, as all of our information on that topic comes from the Bible, with his quotations being the primary sources.
To conclude as you have, we would need to selectively treat as credible only those quotations which support our preferred image of Jesus while ignoring the quotes that are inconsistent with it.
For that matter, were it not for the internet, in a thousand years the only things we’d know about L. Ron Hubbard would be what Scientologists wrote about him, preserved through the centuries by their progeny.
>”The real message is much more in depth and can only be seen from the right perspective.”
Which of course is your own proprietary exegesis, which you have developed over many years and now cherish as unsurpassed wisdom, right? Surely you’re unique in all the world in this respect, with nobody else like you out there having developed their own special, personalized interpretation of what Jesus really meant. Like, say, the founder of every denomination of Christianity to exist so far, currently numbering 45,000 globally. Thank goodness you came along to finally set them all straight!
>”The right perspective of any work of this sort can only be obtained by dumping all preconceived ideas or beliefs and reading/studying the work for yourself.”
It’s weird that in fact many, many people do this, yet they all come to such different conclusions. Are they all doing it wrong, except for you? They seem pretty sure they’re the ones who have it right, and it’s everybody else that’s got it wrong. Are you just smarter than everybody else ever to study scripture?
>”The Bible is a unique book in that it has so many mistranslations that it’s nauseating, but that again, doesn’t make the work bad, but the translations. Now I admit this is not an easy task as language evolves over time but written text are frozen in time, and these text are old. Basically, a true understanding requires a great deal of effort which most don’t want to or can’t commit to. The Bible actually tells a very similar story to many other ancient text of which other beliefs stem from and the closer you go back to the beginning the more similarities there are and the more the different text actually agree, confirm, and compliment each other. You can’t go all the way back to the beginning without faith in some additional works of course because there wasn’t even a written language until the Phoenicians. That’s a large period of history where one can only try to assemble a puzzle with the pieces they have or as more are discovered.”
The underlying formula doesn’t differ between translations. It is often said that there are so many interpretations and translations of scripture, anybody can make it say anything, but that’s not quite true.
And yet, somehow there is no translation which says only those who reject Jesus will be saved, for example. There is no translation which says you should abstain from trying to recruit others into the fold.
There is no translation which says you remain saved if you convert, but then apostatize later. Or that apocalypse is so far away that we shouldn’t concern ourselves with it.
However the filler and other concealing details may change from version to version, the essential, underlying viral formula remains the same because that’s what makes it effective at spreading, and persisting despite the efforts of skeptics.
You might call this the spreading mechanism, where your idea of the central message of Jesus is what it was designed to spread. In which case even if I agree with the message, I am not wrong to object to an attempt to manipulate me into believing and propagating it under false pretenses.
This is similar to the way in which an MLM may have a high quality product (Cutco) but simply being structured and operating as an MLM invalidates it. (imo).
>”Anyway, I get what you are trying to say and the frustration with dealing with nonsense. However, Humans have a tendency to feel attacked when their flaws are pointed out but may respond to a new perspective in what something is and not what it isn’t.
>"Like I said, I like your post. "
Why would this matter to me? I don't know you.
>"It reminds me a lot of myself and fighting to prove how illogical and nonsensical something was to someone that had to believe it at some level. that approach neither helped me nor anyone else. You can’t ask someone to admit they’ve been duped their whole life as it just not that simple.”
Covid has made it pretty simple, lately. Here in the US vaccine refusal correlates very strongly to fervent Christian belief. The ones who will not listen to reason, die. Evolution will replace them, little by little, with people that listen.
To that end, I’ve been promulgating “vaccine shedding” memes in hopes of convincing them to stay away from vaccinated people. That way the consequences of their bad decisions will stay confined to the problem group.
It’s been said it’s easier to fool a man than to convince him he’s been fooled. It’s also been said you can lead a horse to water, but not make him drink. True on both accounts. What they neglect to consider is that the same horse will often eagerly drink poison, and sometimes that's preferable to wrestling a stubborn horse.
>”Ideas are evolving and there are some big ones out there now so please get in on it if you want. "
What, like this?
>"As a species, I personally think it’s time to figure out what is and stop fighting what isn’t.”
That’s a nice sentiment but unless everybody on Earth spontaneously answers to you, I don’t think some internet guy deciding it’s time for everyone to agree with him is going to gain much traction in the marketplace of ideas
>” Let the old ways die on their own and let us have the new ways ready to go as they do. I’m here to discuss anything you want to :)”
They don’t die on their own. Religion is the all time champion of artificially keeping bad, wrong ideas around longer than they would otherwise be able to. I want to believe it’s on its way out. Stats seem to indicate as much, and Covid is accelerating the process. But at the same time the church has endured worse than Covid, or periods of unpopularity. It was around for centuries before either of us were born, and I fear it will still be around centuries after we’re dead.
Anyway you seem like an alright fellow, so don’t take this personally, but as you’re an outlier, the cost/benefit analysis of arguing with you does not work out favorably. There aren’t many who believe as you do, so there’s a lot of work that would go into changing your mind for not much gain.
This is similar to the reason why more software is made for PC than for Mac, or why there’s not a large market for one legged pants. I'd scold you for wasting my time with the "Your argument doesn't apply to meeee because I have a special version of Christianity I invented that’s immune hee hee hee" nonsense because I enjoy argument anyhow