The Worst Idea

By:  Wendell Krossa

The absolutely no conditions love at the core of reality robustly counters the “worst idea” to have ever infected human consciousness- that there is some great threatening force/spirit behind reality and life, something that will condemn, exclude, retaliate, punish, and destroy imperfect humanity.  Our ancestors reasoned from natural disaster, disease, and human violence to explain ultimate realities.  A huge fail.  Ever since, people both religious and secular have never fully let go of that original pathology.

People who believe in violent, punitive gods have too often treated others in the same harsh manner.  The belief and behavior is linked once again.  Note ISIS today in this regard.  People shouting “God is great” as they kill others are acting according to a horrifically pathological view of God that deforms human consciousness and life.  See comment just below on “Terror in Mumbai”. The killers were not shouting “Political oppression”, or “Economic disparity”, or “Western social corruption”, as they killed innocents.  They were shouting “God”, “God”, and more “God”.  Wake up Mr. Obama, and the rest of our too politically correct leadership.

I have heard two politicians get close to nailing this root issue behind religious violence.  Both Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio have stated that ISIS terrorism is driven by apocalyptic theology.  So far, so good. But now take this back further to its historical source- Christianity.  This is all about the basic theology of Western religion, notably Christian apocalyptic theology.  Lets quit pussy footing around and assign full responsibility just where it belongs.

So before anyone concludes that I am picking on Islam, let me place Islam in its proper historical context as a descendent of the Western religious tradition. Islam shares the common heritage of bad religious ideas- apocalyptic- that have descended from Sumerian mythology to Zoroastrianism, to Judaism and Christianity, and even down into Declinism and Environmental Alarmism.  Note also the research below which shows that Jewish Christianity shaped early Islam- i.e. Joseph Azzi’s “The Priest and The Prophet”.  It idea will be disorienting for many religious people to embrace, but Islam adopted the violent deity of Christianity.  Using Azzi’s research, among others, I have traced the historical linkages- from the hellfire threat in the gospel of Matthew, and the Ebionite gospel to the Hebrews that was roughly similar to Matthew, and then to the Quran which absorbed the Hebrew gospel.

All religion has been conditional but Paul took conditional thinking to new heights in Christology, in the Christ myth.  Supreme conditions in the sacrifice of a Savior sent from heaven to meet the universal condition of a sacrifice to save humanity from wrath and hell.  The Christ myth focuses all this history of religious condition, intensely bringing it to a universal focus.  The one condition for all humanity to believe in, or else.  The universal Savior of all, meeting the one final condition for all. Ah, this Jesus/Paul story is so central to the entire human story.  It illustrates what went wrong and how it is made right for all humanity. Non-retaliation versus supreme retaliation, unconditional versus highly conditional.

Robert D Brinsmead Comment

There is a well-known song that repeats the line, “I will always love you.” Is there any other kind of love?  Not according to a great sage whose words are recorded in Luke 6: 28-36.  The promise of a love that has conditions attached cannot be the real thing.  A “love” on condition is a sinister way of trying to control another under the threat of withdrawing it.  It is the most inhuman kind of threat.  This is because being a person means being someone whose essential nature is to love and be loved.  How can a person live in any real freedom under the threat of a conditional kind of love?  A promise of love on condition, therefore, is a complete fraud.  To say that God offers to love people on certain conditions means that God threatens to withdraw this love unless God can control them in a desired way.  The one who offers this kind of love is a tyrant who wants to manipulate others by guilt, shame and the terror of rejection. This is the way of religion which one way or another makes love and salvation very conditional.  It is a method of manipulating people instead of setting them free.