Experiment No. 1 | Laying the Foundation
What Others Are Saying
#1: Everything you have drafted resonates with my heart and mind.
#2: Jesus said he gives us freedom, but what I see in many Christian churches is that it gives freedom, but still clinging to heavy dogmas, big quarrels between different church denominations and in some churches a lot of emphasis on tradition.
#3: No, 21st century Christianity is not the teachings Jesus asked us to study and pass on. Many Christian churches are bound by heavy dogmas, theocratic authority, or authority of a church president who passes on his teachings in the place of Jesus's teachings.
#4: Christianity has to go back to basics, in fact we have to live like Jesus did. Mercy, non-judgmental and opposing each other. Jesus saw everyone as a fully-fledged person of faith, regardless of religion, class, state of life. When Christianity goes back to basics as Jesus taught, there will be more unity, and they will respect other religions as well.
#5: I think Jesus would admonish us to stop following these and come back to Him. I think He may well dissolve the churches because they are established in His name. And I think that Jesus himself will preside over his brotherhood. And would also work together with other religions.
Flowery Branch, GA, USA
#1 I think that you are spot on with your assessment.
#2 I do see Jesus as you describe Him.
#3 I do not think that 21st Century Christianity is practicing His personal religion. It has been lost by assimilating His teachings into the evolutionary religion that Christianity has become. Christianity has embraced the religion of the apostle Paul not the religion of Jesus. It is indeed sad that when Christians are offered to study the whole life of Jesus in The Urantia Book, because it is not in the Bible, they refuse to study it. They are held captive by a few verses in the Bible that are un Godly and choose to remain in relative darkness than choose to study the life of the one that they profess to love with all their hearts.
#4 Christianity needs to as the Bible tells it "Be strong and of good courage" and let the Spirit of God that dwells within each and every one of us guide them to the truth about God and Jesus. God wants to reveal Himself to us but we need to learn how to "Be still and Know that I AM GOD".
#5 Jesus is sad that the people that are called by His Name do not want to know him outside of the incomplete record that is the Bible. If the people would only free up their minds and listen to the Spirits within every individual and develop unity among men then we would advance to be the "Church" that mankind really craves.
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part? I thought you were a bit tough describing modern Christianity. There have been times of persecution for all faiths, but modern Christians are generally tolerant of other faiths. I also think that the Jewish faith as well as Christianity can be uplifted by new truth - the truth of Jesus teachings.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him? I'm a long-time student of The Urantia Book.
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? I think that we have missed an integral part of his teaching about righteousness in modern times. The love and mercy of the Heavenly Father does not erase the expectation of virtue.
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? What the world needs most is to know the human life of Jesus of Nazareth.
5. What do you think would be Jesus' opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? Jesus encouraged loving fellowship, private worship, scholarly devotion, virtuous living, unselfish prayer, forgiving tolerance, service of our brethren, and a place of worship that is worthy to be called the house of God. Jesus' opinions of a 21st century church / congregation would be based upon each individual case. I'm sure he would like to see his teachings and their message of hope resurrected for modern mankind. That's what students of The Urantia Book have been doing for decades - the grassroots work of sharing Jesus' teachings.
Warm Greetings from across, "The Pond"... x It is with heartfelt love and gratitude to our Heavenly Father that I see He has answered all our prayers and brought you back to health. Amen. I have some thoughts to share on this first part of The Christ Experiment, if I may?
I agree with your overview of Christianity and our Lord's mission. He knew in advance how men would take His message and corrupt it, which is why His main theme was Love... He knew that, "the opposer", would use his vast knowledge of humankind's weaknesses to influence and manipulate mankind away from The Father... The opposer knows how the lower frequencies of hate, greed, ego, segregation and apartheid (including religious apartheid), work and how they affect individuals and this is how he keeps them under his control. I believe that what we are learning now - within Quantum Physics - about frequencies and healing etc., is the link between spirituality and science, and the higher frequencies of Love, Kindness, Joy and Peace are the key to understanding and revealing the deeper things of our Lord's message. Once we understand that the higher frequencies surrounding Love are unattainable to the opposer and his workers, we have a head start.
If we educate as many people as we can about the actual, scientific power of Love and they begin to feel it's power, coming from The Father, through our Lord, by means of The Divine Spirit and out into the world through us... then we can be the Lanterns our Lord spoke of... We can only maintain everyday life within these frequencies, if we rely totally on The Father... Without surrendering our whole Self to Him, we cannot prevail... because the ego is so powerful within us... Our Lord demonstrated this in everything he said and did... (even when He was angry, he controlled it...) He knew the power of the human ego and He knew it was the opposer's best tool to thwart Him... When He had finally won... He said to the man next to Him, "Truly I tell you TODAY... you will be with me in Paradise..." because He had done it...!!! He had overcome all the obstacles of being human... Bless Him... My prayer every morning is simply, "I can't do this alone, thank you for your Love." Thank you for your courage and I thank The Lord for His blessings through you... Amen
Los Angeles, California USA
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part? You got it spot on & observations correct.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him? Yes I see Jesus in same way without complications.
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? I believe 21st century Christianity as a whole are far removed from his plain and simple instructions & have added yokes to make it difficult to live up to.
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? It seems very clear that Jesus's instructions are for all of us individually to uphold, without a controlling organization. As you have observed, Christianity is fragmented into thousands of diverse followings which is what the 'adversary' intended. We need to go back to basics.
5. What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? If we were marooned on an island, we don't need a building to worship in nor people telling us how we should worship. It is all in his instructions.
Los Angeles, California USA
I have been slowly going through the Christ Experiment and Faith Sons of God. I am quite excited to have these resources. Thank you, I have much to learn. My responses to the first experiment are thus:
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part? You have gotten nothing wrong as far as I understand. Your observations ring true.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him? I see Jesus as my brother-friend, and as my father.
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? No. It is obvious to me that the institution is in error.
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? The Church needs to progress from the religion about Jesus into the religion of Jesus. This would be a very difficult task without a new revelation. However, even with a new revelation, change will have to come from the outside. The Sanhedrin of the past would not change, neither will the Church of this age willingly change.
5. What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? I think the Son of Man would cry, but the Son of God sees the end from the beginning.
Las Vegas, Nevada
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part? Truth is never devoid of beauty and goodness, beauty is not beauty without goodness and truth, and goodness is not goodness without beauty and truth. Your observations are good because they hold truth, beauty and goodness. Jesus, as a man among men, perfectly revealed how God would interact with us, as a Father. Love is the living manifestation of the constant moving interaction between truth, beauty and goodness. God is love. Jesus lived that truth among us.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him? We will always be in fellowship with Jesus through the Spirit of Truth. I am always greatly comforted by the fact that Jesus will not misjudge human behavior because he was here and lived the human life - "been there and done that"....
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? No. Free will choice, imo, to NOT practice that "religion".
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? "Have no fear" was the message Pope John Paul II delivered that resonated with millions of youth around the world.
5. What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? Jesus was always positive. What do we think is positive about our "modern" worship?
Placerville, California - AGREE
1: Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part? You did not get it wrong and I agree with your observation.
2: Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him? I see Jesus in a very similar way that you have described.
3: Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? Yes, to a smaller degree than desirable however. It varies from religion to religion.
4: In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? Truth, Beauty, Goodness, the Golden Rule, God the Father us his sons we as brothers. Its so simple but yet so difficult to spread the word and have it accepted and practiced. The changes start with us as individuals and spreads. I think preachers try but words seem to get in the way. Learning to do Gods will is very personal. Requires much sincerity and effort. Beyond personal, I don't know what Christianity needs.
5: What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? I think Jesus would look at 21st century Christians as weak. Their temples or cathedrals as misused - missing true worship of the Father - not focused, more of a social event facility.
My son is a Christian stuck on Bible study. I’ll send this link to him and see if he responds.
Cleveland, Ohio - AGREE
Brothers, you have nailed it! I totally agree with you that what Jesus introduced was individual salvation. This is clearly evident from his words to the Samaritan woman stating that soon worship in spirit and truth would supercede worship in temples (John 4:21-24). For those who approached God in this way, there would be no need to fear the disappearance of any organized religion, not then and not now. Unfortunately, ever since Jesus uttered these words, there has been a full scale resistance to adopt the new form of worship, some even insisting that a new temple must be built in Israel before a "second coming" can occur, a dangerous ideology to my thinking.
Furthermore, had Christianity not been militarized in the fourth century, the movement would look quite different today. What began as a loose federation of independent but equal Christian societies only tied by faith and charity would possibly have grown over the centuries to resemble something closer to eastern spirituality stressing an individual contact with God, instead of what sadly developed in its place.
As to what is needed in the world of Christianity today, we need to reconcile Christianity with the world's religions. For some, Christ is nothing more than a throwback to ancient sun deities; for others, there is very little difference between the teachings of Christ and the principles of their own religions. I disagree with these positions, but they are out there. We must somehow make sense of all of this.
Taos, New Mexico, USA - AGREE
I agree with the gist of your comments about Jesus and his message. I do not believe 21st century Christianity as a whole is practicing what Jesus taught. Although it is hard to make generalizations on such a large group as Christianity. There are many changes that need to take place. One of them would be the ending of religious authority that demands people believe a certain way or accept them as being above everyone else. A more mystical approach to Christianity would be a step in the right direction as would as open mind to other teachings. Question 5. I would say Jesus doesn't care anything for buildings and grand cathedrals. These buildings don't impress Jesus they are there to overawe humans.
Campania, Tasmania, Australia - AGREE
Every five hundred years since the birth of Christ, there has been a major shift in Christianity. Around 500AD, we have seen the Catholic Church emerging, around 1000AD we had a big split and the Russian Orthodox Church separated itself from the Roman Church. Then around 1500AD Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on Wittenburg and the Reforrnation started, but in theology only. The Catholic mass is still upheld in almost every single church worldwide as the Eucharist was replaced with our modern sermon to put it very simplistically (Paul told us that every one should have something when we get together). We believe God is again preparing a big shift again in our time what we would call: the Sonship Movement where in sons of God rediscover who they are in His Kingdom (kings and priest according to Revelation) and that has been growing for the last 2000 years.
It has been here all along but because of our Greek Worldview which still influences strong our over literal approach to the Bible and everything else in our modern western society, we have failed to see it and understand scripture properly. Sadly enough to say though, God’s Kingdom hasn't grown that fast as I believe God hoped it would (yes, I don't believe everything the future is not set in concrete) because of all the traditions of men in the churches as these are stronger than the Word of God. Jesus said clearly to the Pharisees that 'because of your traditions you make null and void the Word of God', Father's plan to make a people for Himself. Jesus being the first born would bring many sons into the full measure of the full stature of Christ and we are His ambassadors, the light and salt of this world, Christ-ians or little christs, that would show the world how our Father loves them.
Two things has stopped Gods people from growing, Most of the church does not realize who they are in Him because of a mixture of law and grace, because of mixing old testament concepts in with the New Covenant while Jesus was pretty clear that one cannot put new wine in old wineskins, the church does so all the time. We say God’s ways are higher than ours and quote of of context from the OT where it applies to the ungodly while the NT says clearly that we have the mind of Christ. We are a son, an heir, seated in heavenly places, being blessed with all spiritual blessings, one in spirit with Him, and called to do the same works as Jesus did, to set the captives free from the demonic, heal the sick and raise the dead. I have two friend who personally raised somebody from the dead. Greater works will you do Jesus said and we will.
Worldwide more and more people are walking in sonship and go on the streets to just step out of their comfort zone to heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom. Next to people not knowing who they are in Him, they are also confused about the Kingdom of God and when it comes and still pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done which was a prayer Jesus taught His disciples 2000 yrs ago but since then it has arrived and even Jesus mentioned it that when He would cast out devils with his fingers then the Kingdom of God had come. On our Christmas cards it even talks about it that the government will be on His shoulders and ever increasing as He must reign until all enemies will be under His feet and the last enemy is death still not conquered or He wouldn't have said it.
The sons of God where the world is groaning and waiting for will by faith conquer that last enemy we believe and show the world what was Gods original plan with mankind. To live forever with Him on the earth. Our liberty start when we realize that all our sins have been forgiven and that we are partakers of His divine nature, that we have His fullness living in us. Father loves us with an everlasting love. The silent belief that we are not forgiven and that we have to work hard for it is still rampant. Father calls us sons. Lets show the world who He is in us!
Australia - AGREE
Where do you stand on this issue? As a married couple we stand together with all other sons and daughters of God in clearing away the traditions and babble that comes out of the different religions. We stand for Christ Jesus and his heavenly family and them alone, no manmade organization as all have a goodness and part truth because they originate with Christ, but are so deviated from his simple teachings.
Do you think it is possible for Christianity to return to what Jesus originally expected of his followers? Definitely, it will take effort but compared to what Christ did for us, it is so little in comparison.
If so, what will it take? A positive outlook. When we look at our family, associates or friends, see each of them as a potential son or daughter of our Creator. Endeavor to look at the good in people as Jesus Christ did.
And more importantly, what are you willing to do to effect such a change in your surroundings? Start spiritual conversations that center only on Jesus and his Father. We found there is no need to bring up doctrines that result in disagreement as they exist in the past now, we begin a new era of Christianity where all can openly discuss the beautiful acts of kindness and love displayed by our Lord and be fair in all our dealings with others of various backgrounds. What better spiritual course to take “for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
Queensland Australia - AGREE
It certainly does seem that the Kingdom message of Jesus has lost it's impetus over the last 1950 years or so. The real essence of Jesus teachings of the Kingdom has been clouded by Christian religious doctrines and some very erroneous ones at that. Some that led to violent and evil inquisitions, where unspeakable tortures that often times resulted in the death of it's victims and was used on those who disagreed with the church and it's decrees as well as those who may have erred such as fornication and so on.
But many in the world is waking up to the damage that the various religious belief systems have caused in this world over the thousands of years. While many have turned to atheism and some other agnostic, many have also been awakened spiritually and really we can thank the Internet (a two edge sword) for this as well as a variety of literature that have come to be written in recent times that are revealing corruption in the Christian religions but also revealing Jesus original teachings which are not really promoted by mainstream Christian religions of today.
But at the same time some benefits have been gained through organized religions especially the Christian religions of today. Today we have hospitals, charity organizations such as the Salvation Army, and welfare in many countries where Christianity has been allowed to flourish. But just as the early Christians were marginalized because of their teachings and their faith and integrity, today many Christians and yes even in America the "land of liberty and the free", stand on the brink of being marginalized and persecuted for their beliefs.
Of late there seems to be an agenda to push Christianity off its pedestal especially those who do not sympathize with the current policies of the American government (I call it a regime). In many countries now around the world Christians are being ostracized, especially in some countries that are under the control of the Islamic religious leaders. But even in countries like Russia where freedom of religion is now suppose to exist, small minority Christian religions and groups are marginalized, persecuted and even banned because of the influence of the Russian orthodox church. In China some Christian organizations such as the Catholic church for instance are allowed to practice within limits, but other minority groups of Christians are generally not free to do so unless they have made an arrangement with the Chinese authorities.
But I wonder what would be the scenario today if Christians had stuck to the original teachings of Jesus and taught it to whomever they met. Would we be in a different world today, a world largely free of war and strife? A world where all mankind view each other as brothers and sisters. A world where even other races of different cultures respect each other and their differences and still call them their brothers and sisters as well. A world where when problems arise, all the leaders of the world come together in a peaceful fashion to solve them. A world where war is taught no more where every nation has beaten their swords and tools of war into plowshares. A world where there is a cultivated respect for the planet and it's environment and where its inhabitants have learned how to live in harmony with its ecology. A veritable paradise.
Is this all a pipe dream? It is really up to us humankind to make this a reality. God is not going to do it for us, but he has given us the necessary tools to achieve this seemingly impossible reality. The tools are all incorporated in Jesus teachings of the Kingdom of God as well as in a lot of the science of today that has been controlled and largely hidden from public view. In fact science that could give us even now unlimited almost free energy. This does not mean however that we will not have extraterrestrial (whether spirit or material) help to rejuvenate our planet but God does expect us at least to make an attempt to do this ourselves.
Palmdale, California - AGREE
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part? No, I believe your observation is very accurate. I also believe now is the time for an open discussion about just what has gone wrong with religion on our planet.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him? I too see Jesus as far more than just a mere prophet. I am of the belief that the message of Jesus can save the world. I believe that the real message of Jesus has been distorted and perverted.
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? Absolutely not. Some Christian beliefs of today would have Jesus himself labeled a heretic. We cannot expect new and advanced spiritual truths to take root within the confines of religious beliefs that are cemented in the past.
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? The reality is that the only way to evolve new advanced beliefs is for the beliefs of old to die off. Unfortunately this means that my generation will have to pass away to allow the generations of the future to believe anew. We believers of today have accepted the idea that it is far more righteous to be right, than it is to be loving. That is a spiritually fatal fallacy.
5. What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? Jesus would think us slaves to tradition, fearful of discovery, slothful within the comforts of the acceptance of the beliefs of others.
Mount Shasta, California - AGREE
Where do you stand on this issue? The issue is not a hopeless one but a real goal as it is Our Fathers will to be done. It will be done with our with out us, so let us be a part of it.
Do you think it is possible for Christianity to return to what Jesus originally expected of his followers? YES! for his spirit is very much alive in a lot of the believers that are in Christianity and also there are a lot of Closet Christians that have not yet realised it. And in time the truth that they have will push out the untruths that they have as they make movement each day in their spiritual growth.
If so, what will it take? It will take our effort to be the love that Jesus showed when on earth and the understanding of why others do what they do. For this does not bring our judgement on them but our understanding. This is why he could say "Father forgive them for they know not what they do!"
And more importantly, what are you willing to do to effect such a change in your surroundings? What I do with every one I meet is to work at engaging them in conversation to be able to receive from them something as well as share a truth, and gain a understanding about them. Most time we do not stay connected to give some one something that we have to offer or receive what they have to give us. I want to work at being able to leave that brother or sister knowing that we had touched the hearts of each others and shared my love with them. The goal is to learn to love just one more person each day. That will change my world or my surroundings.
Vista, California - AGREE
I agree with your observations. When more and more 'children of God' stand up and live the authentic teachings of Christ then spiritual freedom will spread and our planet will experience a new era. The fact is Jesus taught no theology or doctrine. Nor did he authorize it. During his life he ignored completely any religious ritual. He discouraged observations, regulations or rules of every kind. So why would he accept any of the sort today found in 21st century churches, congregations, temples or cathedrals? In the plainest language Jesus strictly charged his followers, "Don't let anyone call you 'Rabbi', for you have only one teacher and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters". Jesus did teach individual salvation. Anyone, regardless of status, gender, education, age or nationality, could choose to follow him and have eternal life. Jesus has not changed.
Athens, Greece - AGREE
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part? No you didn't get wrong. Your approach is correct about Jesus and his message. Unfortunately history and people, of course, changed everything for their own behalf.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him? I believe that Jesus came here for a specific purpose. As the most high rank spiritual person took the lead to bring us back to our ''destiny''. To prepare us for the real life, to unite us with our Father.
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? No part from today Christianty is practicing the Jesus's words. The big parties of Christianity and also the smallest are out of order, even these which are rebellion against the ''Christian world''. These parties which claim that have the only truth and all the people will die. Specially them are not in order, they missed the point. Its clear.
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? People need freedom to think and pure love to decide. They don't need hard lines, fear, guilty, and semblance in love. People need pure interesting and pure love without preconditions. Above all they need knowledge.
5. What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? I think that he will have the same feeling when he went in the temple in Jerusalem and break down the traders. But in our days he had to use a caterpillar!!!! [Heavy duty hydraulic power equipment] He had to clean everything.
Anonymous - AGREE
Religion as practiced by so many under the name of Christianity has hindered the movements and the freedom to express oneself, and has silenced the ordained rights of the Children of Light to be the lights they truly are, and then maximize the glow each light contains. For each rule and regulation augments the spirit’s ability to be an exact representation of the sender of whatever truth has been given. The longer this method of religious practice is maintained, the farther mankind sinks into the retarded state of a perpetual slumber.
California - AGREE
My responding to your questions.
1. Did we get it wrong? / Time will tell, but you have got me thinking out of the box that I have been in by my church. Is our observation incorrect? / It is not incorrect but different and very persuasive and thought provoking. If so, what part? / The point about us being all individually the lights of the world (Matthew 5:14-16), not just a few elite priests or leaders really brings home the statement that the priests said about ‘if we leave him alone all will put faith in him and we will loses our place’ As well as Jesus statement about ‘ will he find the faith in the earth when he returns’ We really do have a need to ‘Awake’ for your thoughts about what we have is a religion about Jesus and not the religion that Jesus lived. I find my self thinking about a lot of scripture that I have not really thought much about but now they are raising questions. Am I like what Jesus said that ‘I have many things to tell you but you can not bare them now’ I find it some ways very disturbing.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him?/ Yes I do and I see a greater expansion of his love to be more inclusive than what I have felt in the past.
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced? / I have to say with what I have read in the Bible and it’s scriptures telling us of the wheat and the weeds you give a very good argument that most is not what the 1st century believers believed.
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity? / We need to get out of judgment and be able to see and understand why some people do the things they do. We must look like a bunch of siblings all arguing that Daddy loves me best! And as a parent we would find that offensive that our children would think that. For we love them all and care about them and understand there problems to help them.
5. What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral? / One of great disappointment like when he looked at Peter but also he knows we can be better than that. For he believes in us and that belief is inspiring.
Australia - AGREE
After reading Experiment #1, we agree with it all. It was interesting that Jesus’ upbringing was as a Jew, but he encouraged people away from that, knowing that as a group each of us cannot rely on this type of salvation. We must each stand on our own and not depend on traditions of organizations. As in a family, each child is different, so our Father will accept and guide us as an individual. This was what Jesus was getting at, none are better than another. Priests, leaders or whatever they call themselves eventually take liberties with the lives of their flocks, removing us from the simplicity of Jesus words. As regards 21st Century worship, it is far from the reality of Jesus. The world must get rid of the 'red tape', the old dogma, and leaders who live in the past. Our lives must live the life of Jesus, so future generations will have a true brotherhood on this planet. If he walked into any religious structure today, he would walk right out again and be disgusted, let alone hearing the history of his distorted message and abhorrent things done in his and his Father's names. We like the idea of experimenting with just Jesus ministry, no organization, no man made laws, this will work as his life was one of fairness, kindness and above all else love. All of us need to drink not of the 'old wine' but the refreshing 'new wine'.
Anonomyous - AGREE
Today's moral position as a whole has improved, his perception and insight has grown thus mankind has no excuse in laboring in the past meanings and ancient understanding designed for primitive peoples. The mores of yesteryear are saturated in traditions and superstitions that should have remained in the past and honored by those of its day, but such days have come and gone. The modern man, the thinking men and women of this age should be bold and courageous enough to chart his or her own course and guidelines to navigate themselves into a productive age and society of excellence and one of spiritual illumination. But these words will only be heard in an actual sense by true sons who exercise the freedom of Sonship and enjoy the movement capabilities of an understanding and compassionate Universe Father.
Florida - DISAGREE
In your article, "The Christ Experiment," you concluded by asking what we thought. Here is what I think:
While you obviously have good intentions and you want to experiment, so please do not take my comments as condemnation, only scriptural insight offered humbly.
1. Did we get it wrong? Is our observation incorrect? If so, what part?
Your observation of Jesus himself and the downward spiral of Christianity overall, since the first century, is correct. I have made some corrections to your observation, however, to be more in harmony with the Bible itself. Please see my attached Word document for my corrections.
2. Do you see Jesus the way we describe him? If not, how do you see him?
Yes, I do. " Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
3. Do you believe 21st century Christianity is practicing the religion Jesus practiced?
Mostly no. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-15 NIV) This principle stated by Jesus is true for all time, this side of Armageddon.
4. In your opinion, what changes, if any, are needed in the world of Christianity?
While most segments of Christianity claim to follow the Bible more or less - obviously, very few do. What is needed is to use the Bible as the absolute standard as indicated by 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV): "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Each should "test everything. Hold onto the good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) "Do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world." (1 John 4:1) Test against what? Obviously, the Bible.
5. What do you think would be Jesus opinion of a 21st century church, congregation, temple or cathedral?
"I am going to vomit you out of my mouth", for the most part. (Revelation 3:16)
[Without reproducing the entire re-write, the brother made these basic changes to the “Background and Observation.”]
a. He believes salvation will come ‘through the congregation” not individually;
b. He omitted the statement that Jesus honored children as equal heirs to the heavenly kingdom;
c. He omitted the statement that Jesus“taught that this life is only the beginning of an eternal adventure extending beyond the confines of earth out into the limitless universe”;
d. He omitted the statement that spreading the message of the spiritual Jubilee will bring an end to suffering, sorrow and injustice;
e. He added this statement: Some prefer to preach messages of doom and gloom rather than proclaiming Jesus' pure message, others preach a feel-good, "I'm OK, you're OK," anything goes theology, and there is everything else in between these two extremes.
f. He omitted this statement: “but perhaps in this 21st century, Christians have developed enough courage, enough curiosity, and enough will to attempt to discover the true teachings, achieve a true unified self-governing brotherhood, and reclaim their God-given Christ-won Jubilee of spiritual freedom.”
And here is his re-write of the “Hypothesis and Prediction”
The Hypothesis and Prediction*
"A hungry person dreams of eating but wakes up still hungry. A thirsty person dreams of drinking but is still faint from thirst when morning comes." (Isaiah 29:8 NLT)
There will not be a return to his authentic message and ministry. All Christians will not put away their slave mentality and stood up as faith children of God? Christianity as a whole will not abandon the superfluous manmade doctrines, dogma, rituals and superstitions that have perverted, engulfed and submerged the authentic teachings of Jesus, and promote the pure religion OF Jesus. An era of enlightenment that has heretofore never been seen or experienced on our planet will not occur due to human effort. " Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones." (Psalm 127:1-2 NLT) " And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." (1 John 2:17) "This is what the Lord says: 'Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.'" (Jeremiah 17:5) The various sects of Christianity will not unite. " Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart." (Matthew 12:25)
United States - AGREE
It seems that the very existence of the many individual sects of 'Christianity' is evidence in and of itself of, as you stated, a perversion of Christ's teachings. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that the hour was coming when it wouldn't matter where a person worships, but that how a person worships would be what was important. And on yet another occasion when Jesus' disciples wanted to hinder others, men who were not a part of their immediate group, from expelling demons in Jesus' name, Jesus told them that even those who are not against him are for him. Human beings are, at the core, tribal and communal, and we like to get our validation from having others around us who think and act as we do. This type of thinking can be helpful, but it can also be very very detrimental. As Christians, if our group sticks closely to Christ's example, in all its many facets, and encourages us to do the same, then we can be in a position to do much good in this world as we spread the Master's teachings to others. But if our group gets off course in any way, then we are in danger of following along with the error and ending up being useless to God and to Christ. Many Christian groups and sects exist solely to demonize other groups and to praise themselves as the only beacon of truth and light in this world. By doing so, they fail to point others to the Christ as the only means by which one can get to the Father, and they instead place themselves in a position that Christ alone occupies. So, this, to me is the dilemma. We want, and need in some ways, to be part of a group, or community of fellow believers, but once we do that we are putting ourselves in line to become subject to those around us, especially those in our group who would set themselves up as our leaders, and then subject any dissenters to severe repercussions. I believe in individual salvation, but that requires that one takes responsibility for his or her individual relationship with God. Many are too ready and willing to abdicate that to others, and are simply unwilling to make the effort required to truly follow the Christ according to the true model he left for us. It takes a lot of work and struggle to do that. For many, it's just easier to let others tell us what to do, when to do it, how to do it, why, etc. We are living in an era when the world is ready to see Jesus' teachings in action on a worldwide scale. If we can show others that the Christian way of life is simple, beautiful, rewarding, and dignifying, we can get the ball rolling, so to speak. But we have to break out of the 'us vs. them' mentality, and see others as brothers and sisters, even if they don't see us that way. We have to wake others up to their true identity as children of God. That, to me, is the essence of Jesus' ministry, the very purpose of his death and sacrifice, and the ultimate goal of humanity.
Fayetteville, Georgia, USA - AGREE
Yes it is true that the world does not practice nor live the life that Jesus lived. Religion does strip the simple truth from the message he delivered in order to replace it with rules and dogma. This does make it hard for people to learn to live correctly. When raised in a certain way, we tend to continue as we once learned. Competition for the needs of life many times stand in our way of making progress as we should. If we are (as a world) going to get this right we are going to have to have alot of help from him.