Many will come in my name, claiming I am the Christ and they will deceive many. (Matt 24:5)
Now correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that if Jesus was right about what he was saying here, just before he was crucified, then Paul and his Roman based Christian religion were the most likely ones he was talking about; because nowhere in history do we have a more likely bunch of deceivers.
Just before he said that, in his address to the multitude (Matt 23) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt23;&version=31; Jesus gives an accurate description of what the Roman Catholic Church was destined to become, a revamped version of everything he hated about the religious nutcases that surrounded him. He spoke about setting yourself above others and expecting of them what you can’t live up to yourself. He says they will swallow up the property of widows, under the cover of long prayers and traverse the seas to proselytize, creating converts who will be twice as damned as themselves; blind fools. He then accuses their forefathers of murdering the prophets and predicts they are about to make the same mistake.
I think Jesus used Saul of Tarsus (Paul, main contributor to the New Testament) to fulfil his prophesy, the way Saul used Jesus to fulfil his belief; that a Christ had to hang on a cross for the salvation of all those who would join his Human sacrifice cult. In his letter to the Romans, Saul (alias Paul), after giving himself a big rap, launches into an attack against peoples sexual preferences rather than addressing his own evil actions and doesn’t even mention the fact he had been involved in murder and torcher (oh, how history repeats it’s self).
He goes on to condemn every type of human behaviour as worthy of death and hell, from his concept of god, and then makes the statement we shouldn’t judge people; in the texts that have been used to judge more people than any other in history. He goes to great pains to point out that only those who obey the LAW can be worthy, as his gospel proclaims, and then contradicts himself by saying we can only be saved by grace. Not to be content with that great big faux pas, he ends up the third chapter by setting the law on its right footing by saying that it’s neither obedience to the law nor grace that saves, but faith; while he consigns pride to the trash can.
Paul (the self proclaimed expert on everything) then launches into a tirade of apologetics that only a man suffering from a bad case of guilt’s could possibly appreciate. Chapter after chapter of religious gobbledy gook, enough that if anyone today started raving on about in a public place, they would automatically be redeployed to the loony bin. Where is his credentials to make these outrageous statements? Who is his witness that he was commissioned by Jesus? Why does he get to speak as though he was the voice of God on earth? What possesses fundamentalists to admire this mans ravings so much, when they are very reluctant to embrace Jesus’ teaching on excessive wealth, open displays of piety, unnecessary use of the defensive sword and the non-bias view of women in positions of authority?
I don’t have any answers for these questions, I doubt if anybody does but please don’t misunderstand me, I have laboured over it for far to long just as I have pondered Darwinism and now Dawkinism. If Peter and Paul met Darwin and Dawk for the Bi-millennium debate on the ‘Origins of the Species’ or the ‘Did Jesus do miracles?’ follow up, I don’t think I would even bother to show up. But if Jesus and Mary Magdalene invited me around for a piss-up, I’d be there in a flash; just as I would if Einstein and Jung were putting on a soccer match. So, rather than judging people or theories on the probabilities of being right or upright, let’s just see if we can get along first.