Archive for the ‘Heresy’ Category


The link below will take you to the Ezra Project Website articles on the crisis in modern Christianity and it’s evolution over the past two centuries.

Christianity in Crisis

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   by B. A. Gerrish 

B.A. Gerrish is John Nuveen Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Distinguished Service Professor of Theology at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. This article appeared in The Christian Century, April 9, 1997, pp. 362-367. Copyright by The Christian Century Foundation; used by permission. Current articles and subscription information can be found at www.christiancentury.org. This article prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock. 


  

BOOK REVIEW:
Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion. by Van A. Harvey. Cambridge University Press, 319 pp., $59.95. 

Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols. —John Calvin 

According to the Hebrew scriptures, humans were made in the image and likeness of God. But the perceived kinship between deity and humanity lends itself only too readily to the possibility of inversion. What if the gods are human creations, fashioned after the image and likeness of humanity? 

Around 500 B.C.E., the Greek philosopher Xenophanes noticed that the gods of the Ethiopians were black and had flat noses, whereas the gods of the Thracians were blond and blue-eyed. He suggested that oxen, lions and horses, if they could make gods, would make them like oxen, lions and horses. Not that he found no use for the notion of deity. But his own God resembled mortals, he said, neither in shape nor in thought. He mocked the all-too-human gods around him for the sake of a better, purer concept of God. And so did the Hebrews, though a philosopher like Xenophanes might think that they had less success. 

The God of the Hebrews, in whose likeness humanity was created, insists, “I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst” (Hos. 11:9). The Hebrew scriptures are replete with scorn for the “idolatry” that makes gods in the likeness of humans. Isaiah would certainly not have allowed that the God of Israel, “who sits above the circle of the earth . . . [and] stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (Is. 40:22), might exhibit the same idolatrous principle as the heathen gods he despised, only in the milder form of a mental image. What he proclaimed was a busy, active God rather than “an image that will not move.” And yet he could only represent the divine activity as very like human activity. 

The persuasion that the gods of the heathen are idols (Ps. 96:5), while the true God is God and not human, was carried over into the Christian community to affirm the sovereign uniqueness of the Christian deity. The Protestant Reformers, it is true, discovered the worst idolatries of all within the Catholic Church, much as the prophets of old accused the children of Israel of whoring after other, pagan gods; but they did not doubt that Christianity alone worshiped the true God without taint of idolatry. Throughout the history of the church, risky anthropomorphisms in Christian discourse were excused by appeal to the accommodated, analogical, symbolic or poetic form of the scriptural revelation. 

Modern critical thought about religion arose when the privileged position of Christian discourse was finally challenged. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a distinction familiar in classical antiquity was revived: the dividing line was drawn not between Christianity and other religions, but between popular religion, including Christianity, and a purely rational theism. The rational theists wanted to marvel at the orderly course of nature without worshiping it or supposing it to be the activity of a cosmic Thou, open to the influence of sacrifice and prayer. This left the way clear for such early pioneers of religious psychology as John Trenchard to uncover the supposed pathological origins of religion in the soul while still appearing to be on the side of “God” (properly understood). 

But in the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872) the privileging of Christian discourse and the distinction between vulgar religion and rational theism both dissolve, and all talk of God is unmasked as the product of human invention. “Some day,” he predicted, “it will be universally recognized that the objects of Christian religion, like the pagan gods, were mere imagination.” And he had no interest in saving the “utterly superfluous, unnecessary God,” whose activity adds nothing to the law-governed processes of nature. 

Van Harvey’s book is the first volume in a new series: Cambridge Studies in Religion and Critical Thought. The series could hardly have been launched with better auspices. Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion is the ripe fruit of long reflection. The timeliness—even the urgency—of its central question is plain from the first chapter to the last: Can religion be plausibly explained without the assumption that “God” denotes a being of a higher ontological rank than the mundane objects of our daily experience? More than 14 years’ labor went into the writing of the book, and the author tells us that his preoccupation with Feuerbach goes back further still—to the time when he first encountered him in a graduate seminar at Yale Divinity School and found himself “strangely disturbed.” 

Feuerbach is well known as the author of The Essence of Christianity, first published in German in 1841. (The second edition was translated into English by the Victorian novelist George Eliot.) Harvey’s thesis is that fascination with this one work, interesting and important though it is, has obscured a shift in Feuerbach’s understanding of religion that is most evident in his later Lectures on the Essence of Religion (1848). We ought to read Feuerbach for two interpretations of religion, not just one, and in Harvey’s judgment the later, neglected interpretation is more interesting and persuasive. Not that an absolute break occurs. Rather, the passage from the earlier to the later writing is largely a shift of dominance: subordinate themes in The Essence of Christianity become dominant in The Essence of Religion

The central thought in The Essence of Christianity is that the supposedly superhuman deities of religion are actually the involuntary projections of the essential attributes of human nature. In Feuerbach’s own words: “Man—this is the mystery of religion—projects his being into objectivity, and then again makes himself an object to this projected image of himself thus converted into a subject.” What the devout mind worships as God is accordingly nothing but the idea of the human species imagined as a perfect individual. Once they are unmasked, shown for what they really are, religious belief and the idea of God can be useful instruments of human self-understanding, revealing to us our essential nature and worth. But taken at face value, they are alienating insofar as they betray us into placing our own possibilities outside of us as attributes of God and not of humanity, viewing ourselves as unworthy objects of a projected image of our own essential nature. Theology, as Feuerbach sees it, only reinforces the state of alienation by taking the objectifications of religion for real objects, and the theologians end up with dogmas that are self-contradictory and absurd. 

Very differently, The Essence of Religion locates the subjective source of religion in human dependence on nature. The forces of nature on which our existence wholly depends are made less mysterious and more pliable by our perceiving them as personal beings like ourselves. And this, we are now told, is the meaning of religion, which is not so much encoded truth as pure illusion. “Nature, in reality, is not a personal being; it has no heart, it is blind and deaf to the desires and complaints of man.” In short, religion is superstition, and science must eventually supplant it. 

For all the striking differences between Feuerbach’s two theories of religion, there are strands that tie them together. One such strand, obviously, is the theme of anthropomorphism—picturing God or the gods as personal like ourselves. Another, closely connected with the first in Feuerbach’s mind, is the conviction that religion is wishful thinking. Feuerbach’s “felicity principle,” as Harvey calls it, assumes that the point of being religious is to secure one’s well-being both here and hereafter. Hence the emphasis in the later work on the Glückseligkeitstrieb (the “drive after happiness”) that motivates the entire business of religion. The God we imagine is the God we want, who can give us what we want, and this means a personal God who takes notice of us and guarantees us a blessedness that transcends the limits of nature. But that, according to Feuerbach, is “the religious illusion” (the expression is Harvey’s). We are inescapably bounded by the limits of nature, and even what we take for the goodness of God is nothing more than the utility of nature personified. 

Small wonder if budding theologians find good reason in all this to be ”strangely disturbed”! The unreflective believer may dismiss Feuerbach as a charlatan who trivializes religion. But Harvey fully vindicates his opinion that in any critical scrutiny of religion we must grant Feuerbach a place alongside Paul Ricoeur’s “masters of suspicion”—Nietzsche, Marx and Freud—and judge him worthy to be brought into the present-day discussion. The last two chapters of the book set the later Feuerbach’s interpretation of religion in the forum of more recent views of projection (Freud, Sierksma, Berger), anthropomorphism (Stewart Guthrie) and the need for illusion (Ernest Becker). Harvey concludes: “It is extraordinary how well Feuerbach’s later views stand up when compared with those of contemporary theorists; so much so that one can, by adopting his position, mount important criticisms of these theories.” 

The book’s aim, the author tells us, is “constructive,” at least in part. This is why Feuerbach is brought into the company of recent religious theorists. Harvey does not venture a systematic statement of his own views on religion. He writes as if listening in to the conversation and notes the points at which his Feuerbach, if present, might speak up. Historians who insist on keeping past thinkers strictly in their own historical, social and intellectual contexts may raise their eye-brows at such a hazardous method. I, for one, welcome it. Of course, it cannot, and in this book it does not, replace historical description and painstaking analysis of the sources. If a constructive conversation is to be an honest conversation, it has to respect historical understanding and take to heart the historian’s warnings against anachronistic misreading of the sources. But a constructive interest in the past (“rational reconstruction,” as Richard Rorty calls it) adds something to the sober exercise of setting the record straight and may even, on occasion, alert the historian to patterns and pieces in the record that she had overlooked. 

Harvey’s main thesis is in fact both historical and constructive. That a shift occurred in Feuerbach’s thoughts on religion, and what it was—these are factual matters. The book seems to me to have settled them (though I should defer to the Feuerbach specialists). But why does Harvey think the shift marked an improvement over the more familiar projection theory in The Essence of Christianity? Why is the later theory to be preferred? Chiefly for two reasons: first, it is unencumbered by the arcane Hegelian speculation on which the analysis of consciousness rests in The Essence of Christianity; second, it does greater justice to the religious sense of encounter with an other. The second reason will bring less comfort to the believer than the first. It is one thing to be liberated from Hegel, another to be told that the other encountered in religion is nature. But the conversation, remember, is about academic theories of religion. 

At first glance, Feuerbach’s later theory looks like an elaboration of a view that goes back at least to the Roman poet Statius and was revived by Spinoza, Hobbes, Hume and others: that fear of the terrifying forces of nature first created the gods—”in the ignorance of causes,” as Hobbes explains. (Even Feuerbach’s Glückseligkeitstrieb seems to echo Hume’s “anxious concern for happiness.”) In actual fact, Feuerbach made himself the critic of this view. The human encounter with nature is far too ambiguous and complex to be subsumed under the single emotion of fear. It includes joy, gratitude and love, all of which, Feuerbach inferred, must also be makers of divinity. And he believed that if we seek one all-embracing term for the full range of religious emotions, we will find it only in the “feeling of dependence,” of which each religious response to nature is, so to say, a concrete individuation: fear of death, gloom when the weather is bad, joy when it is good and so on. 

The merit of Feuerbach’s theory in his own eyes, and clearly also in Harvey’s, was that it put a determinate concept, nature, in place of the vague, mystical word “God.” But was he right about religion? More modestly: How does his case look from the perspective of the historical and systematic theologian? 

Shortly after publication of The Essence of Christianity, Feuerbach followed a venerable German custom and undertook to demonstrate that he was only saying what Martin Luther had said already. (Luther’s name has been invoked in Germany to endorse an astonishing variety of mutually incompatible causes.) In The Essence of Faith According to Luther (1844), it turns out that the felicity principle is nothing other than Luther’s celebrated pro me (“for me”). For a man must believe that God is God only for the sake of his blessedness. It is the trust and faith of the heart that create both God and an idol. And so on. With dozens of Quotations from Luther, Feuerbach demonstrates to his own satisfaction that self-love—egoism, narcissism—motivates Protestant piety, and that the piety itself creates the God it needs and wants. 

To be sure, a serious Luther scholar will wish to say a bit more about the function of the pro me in Luther’s theology and will point out some complicating counter evidence. The young Luther departed from the Augustinian tradition in taking the words “You shall love your neighbor as yourself ” to forbid self-love, which he identified as the root sin. The mature Luther asserted that he knew his theology to be true because it takes us out of ourselves. And so we might go on. But when all is said and done, is it possible that Feuerbach had a point? 

It is, of course, not Luther but Friedrich Schleiermacher who comes to mind when Feuerbach speaks of religion as the feeling of dependence. Feuerbach himself makes the connection. But Schleiermacher actually anticipated the naturalistic reduction of the religious feeling of dependence and rejected it as a misunderstanding. Our awareness of God is a feeling of absolute dependence, whereas our dependence on nature is qualified by our ability to influence the way the world goes. A highly controversial distinction, as the process theologians like to remind us. But the conversation is not yet closed. 

Karl Barth doubted whether Schleiermacher had any defense against a Feuerbachian reduction of theology to anthropology: he believed that Feuerbach merely showed the world what Schleiermacher had already done to the queen of the sciences. In his own way, Barth liked Feuerbach. (Many of us first learned of him from Barth.) But Barth drew Feuerbach’s fangs by treating The Essence of Christianity simply as a critique of bad religion. For Barth the word “bad,” strictly speaking, is redundant: all religion is the fruitless human quest for God. The Christian theologian is concerned not with religion but rather with revelation—the Word of God. From Barth’s viewpoint, then, Feuerbach gave us nothing to worry about. From Feuerbach’s point of view, however, Barth’s countermove was a relapse into premodern privileging of Christian discourse. For why should we presuppose at the outset that the one Word of God is Jesus Christ? 

For myself, I think Christian theology must face Feuerbach’s relentless exposure of the subjective roots of religion—even worry a little about it. To be sure, the unmasking of narcissistic motives for being religious, though it may weaken the structures of plausibility, affords no logical grounds for an inference about the reality of the religious object. The God one would like to exist may actually exist, even if the fact that one wishes it encourages suspicion. Nonetheless, in our consumer society, in which success in the church, as elsewhere, is supposed to require market analysis of what people want, the mechanism of wishful thinking is something the theologian needs to hold constantly before us. So does the preacher, who is under pressure not to prophesy what is right but to speak smooth things, to prophesy illusions (Isa. 30:10). The question remains whether the only alternative for the theologian and the preacher is to offer another illusion. 

Feuerbach was a good listener, and Harvey is a powerful spokesman for him. But Feuerbach’s theories work better with some kinds of religious experience than with others. There are religions of adjustment, as we might call them, that begin not with the felicity principle but with the reality principle and admonish us to adjust our lives to the brute fact that things are not as we would like them to be. Feuerbach was too good an interpreter of religion to overlook the phenomenon of self-abnegation, which he read as a subtle form of self-love. It is no doubt true that in adjustment to reality a person may find peace, but surely the category of self-love here looks suspiciously like a procrustean bed. In his remarks on Ernest Becker, Harvey himself hints that Feuerbach did not do justice to “participatory religions” of self-surrender. 

Feuerbach’s theories also seem to me to work badly with religions of moral demand. (We will have to leave for another day the question whether Émile Durkheim’s theory works any better.) Feuerbach was convinced that religious belief corrupts morality as well as truthfulness, and he could even say: “It lies in the nature of faith that it is indifferent to moral duties.” Well, some faith perhaps! But the function of religion has sometimes been to counter human desires, wishes and self-seeking with a moral demand. It might perhaps be just possible to outdo the ingenuity of the theologians and show how the life of Mother Teresa, say, which has every appearance of being motivated by an astonishing compassion rooted in religious conviction, has actually been driven by a subtle but irresistible Glückseligkeitstrieb. But it strains our credulity less to acknowledge the evidence in her life of a close bond between (some) religion and (some) morality. 

It would be too cheap to conclude that Feuerbach’s religious illusion was to take one kind of Protestant piety for religion itself. Still, unless there is more to be said than Harvey has told us, Feuerbach’s account must strike us as lopsided and incomplete. An “explanation” of religion need not be ruled out just because it does not take religion at face value or keep to the first-order utterances of the believer. That would disqualify not only the masters of suspicion but a lot of theologians as well, myself included. The test is whether the explanation is adequate to the full range of the utterances (or phenomena) it intends to explain. 

Feuerbach claimed with some justice that, unlike the speculative philosophers, he let religion speak for itself. However, it is hardly surprising that he heard best what came closest to home. Stung by the criticism that he offered an interpretation of Christianity as an interpretation of religion, he moved from The Essence of Christianity to The Essence of Religion and, later, to his Theogony According to the Sources of Classical, Hebraic, and Christian Antiquity (1857). And yet, throughout all these major works there seems to linger the influence of a strong dislike for Protestant pietism, which had appeared already in his Thoughts on Death and Immortality (1830). In pietism, he supposed, each person in his individuality became the center of his own attention. 

This is by no means to conclude that I am done with Feuerbach because, like the rest of us, he heard selectively. Rather, as Harvey concludes, he “still has the power to compel us to define our own positions.” Without qualifying as a Feuerbach scholar, I have found myself returning again and again, like Harvey, to this “devout atheist” (as Max Stirner calls him), fascinated by the richness, tenacity and nettling style of his thoughts on religion. 

The options, at any rate, have become clearer to me. To return to our point of departure: Christian anthropomorphism could be wholly fictional, the reification of mere abstractions; or a misconstrual of purely natural phenomena; or an imperfect symbolization of our encounter with a transcendent reality. Feuerbach himself moved from the first to the second option. What I take to be the gap in his later position gives me some leverage on the third option. That the transcendent reality is experienced by the religious imagination as a commanding will may be conceptually problematic. But there is surely more to it than personification of some aspect of physical nature. A more nearly adequate theory of religion, or at any rate of the Christian religion, will have to give a better account of it. 

 


“The heretics are proved to be disciples not of the Apostles, but of their own wicked notions. To this cause also are due the various opinions that exist among them, inasmuch as each one adopts error in whatever manner it presents itself to him. But the Church throughout all the world, having its origin firm from the Apostles, perseveres in one and the same opinion with regard to God and His Son.”   

– St Irenaeus of Lyons

Irenaeus on Development of Doctrine

The Lord of all gave his apostles the power of the Gospel, and by them we have known the truth, that is, the teaching of the Son of God. To THEM the Lord said, “He who hears you hears me, and he who despises me and Him who sent me” (Luke 10:16).

 

For we have known the “economy” for our salvation only through those through whom the Gospel came to us; and WHAT THEY FIRST PREACHED THEY LATER, by God’s will, TRANSMITTED TO US IN THE SCRIPTURES SO THAT WOULD BE THE FOUNDATION AND PILLAR OF OUR FAITH (1 Tim. 3:15).

 

It is not right to say that they preached before they had perfect knowledge, as some venture to say, boasting that they are correctors of the apostles. For after our Lord arose from the dead and they were clad with power from on high by the coming of the Holy Spirit, THEY WERE FILLED CONCERNING EVERYTHING AND HAD PERFECT KNOWLEDGE. They went forth to the ends of the earth, proclaiming the news of the good gifts to us from God and announcing heavenly peace to men. Collectively and individually they had the Gospel of God.

 

Thus Matthew published among the Hebrews a gospel written in their language, at the time when Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and founding the church there. After their death Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself delivered to us in writing what had been announced by Peter. Luke, the follower of Paul, put down in a book the Gospel preached by him. Later John the Lord’s disciple, who reclined on his bosom, himself published the Gospel while staying at Ephesus in Asia.

 

Thus the TRADITION OF THE APOSTLES, manifest in the whole world, is present in EVERY CHURCH [in the form of the Scriptures] to be perceived by all who wish to see the truth.

 

Irenaeus of Lyons, “Against Heresies”

(Excerpts from)
The History of Christian Doctrine

WILLIAM G. T. SHEDD, D.D.

3rd Edition

Vol 1
Pgs 225-229

Pantheism and Dualism in the Church.

Respecting the amount and species of Pantheism that appears in connection with the development of the Christian doctrine of God, we remark the following.
The Church was not disturbed by any formal and elaborated Pantheism during the first eight centuries. Phraseology was, however, sometimes employed by orthodox teachers themselves, that would be pantheistic if employed by an acknowledged pantheist. Tatian, a convert and disciple of Justin Martyr, and one of the early Apologists, speaks of God as upostasis pantwn. Hilary uses the phrase, ” deus anima mundi.” Some of the hymns of Synesius are decidedly pantheistic in their strain. Hippolytus addresses the Christian as follows, in his Confession of Faith.

” Thou wilt have an immortal body together with an imperishable soul, and wilt receive the kingdom of heaven. Having lived on earth, and having known the Heavenly King, thou wilt be a companion of God, and a fellow-heir with Christ, not subject to lust, or passion, or sickness. For thou hast become God. For whatever hardships thou hadst to suffer when a man, He gave them to thee because thou wast a man ; but that which is proper to God, [what pertains to God’s state and condition], God has declared he will give thee when thou shalt be deified, being born again an immortal.”

Yet such expressions as these should be interpreted in connection with the acknowledged theistic and Christian character of their authors, and are to be attributed to an unguarded mode of expression, and not to a deliberate and theoretical belief.

In the ninth century Scotus Erigena, the most acute mind of his time, in his speculations upon the mutual relations of the world and God, unfolded a system that is indisputably pantheistic.
A tendency to pantheism is also traceable in the scholastic age, in both the analytic and the mystical mind.

It is noticeable that rationalizing intellects like Duns Scotus and Occam prepared the way for it, though their own speculations are not strictly chargeable with pantheism. But in Amalrich of Bena, and his disciple David of Dinauto, we perceive an arid and scholastic pantheism distinctly enunciated ; while imaginative and mystical minds like Eckart and Silesius exhibit this system in a glowing and poetical form.
Pantheism, however, was firmly opposed by the great body of the Schoolmen, and was condemned by councils of the Church, and bulls of the Pope. The most profound and influential form of this species of infidelity appears in the Modern Church.
It began with Spinoza’s doctrine of ” substantia una et unica,” and ended with Schelling and Hegel’s so-called “.philosophy of identity,” in which Spinozism received new forms, but no new matter. Spinoza precluded the possibility of a secondary substance created de nihilo, by his fundamental postulate that there is only one substance endowed with two attributes, extension and thought. All material things are this substance, in the mode of extension ;
all immaterial things are this same substance, in the mode of cogitation. The first modification of the one only substance yields the physical world; the second, the mental world. There is but one Substance, Essence, or Being, ultimately; and this Being is both cause and effect, agent and patient, in all evil and in all good, both physical and moral. Schelling’s system is Spinozism with a prevailing attention to the one only Substance as extended ; i. e., to physical pantheism. Hegel’s system is engaged with the one only Substance as cogitative, and yields intellectual pantheism. The theology of Germany, since the middle of the 18th century, has been influenced by this system, to an extent unparalleled in the previous history of the Church ; and from the effects of it, it has not yet recovered. Too many of the modes of contemplating the Deity, and of apprehending his relations to the universe, current in Germany, are rendered vague by the failure to draw the lines of theism with firmness and strength. The personality of God is not sufficiently clear and impressive for classes of theologians who yet ought not to be denominated pantheists ; while, on the other hand, open and avowed pantheists have held position within the pale of the Lutheran Church. The English and American theologies have been comparatively little influenced by this form of error, so that the most consistent theism for the last century must be sought for within these churches.

The doctrine of the Divine Nature has experienced but little modification and corruption from Dualism. This is the opposite error to Pantheism. All deviations from the true idea of the Deity terminate either in a unity which identifies God and the universe in one essence, or a duality which so separates the universe from God as to render it either independent of him, or eternally hostile to him. But it was only the Ancient Church that was called to combat this latterforin of error.
During the prevalence of the Manichaean and Gnostic systems, dualistic views were current, but since their disappearance, the Biblical doctrine of the Godhead has had to contend chiefly with the pantheistic deviation.

Doctrines of Demons

Posted: January 26, 2010 in Heresy, Theology

by 

Joe Robinson 

I was researching early writings, both those disputed at Nicea and those recognized as profitable to read, specifically the Didache when I came across the article indicated by the Link below and which I have copied a few excerpts from in order to show how this is an example of the false doctrine of devils which the writers of the New Testament warned the early Church of. 

First, starting with Christ Himself warning His disciples, then after His ascension Peter, Paul, John, James and Jude all wrote of these things. These are doctrines that “tickle the ears”, titillating doctrines that “puff up” rather than foster genuine humility and repentance for sin. 

Ultimately these people (as all others who dispute the NT text) claim that the Church of Rome has dictated both what is scripture and what is doctrine. The historical facts are that the Church of Rome aka the Roman Catholic Church did not exist as such until long after the 1st ecumenical council at Nicea in 325 AD where because of the Arian heresy the Bishops of the Church by God’s grace defined: 

1.) the true Christology as set forth by Christ and His Apostles (sent out ones) and; 

2.) the Canon of Scripture or writings of the Apostles and early leaders of Christianity. 

The first 3 general councils after the first century were all held in the eastern Mediterranean regions, areas where the Church was strongest and most prolific. In these general councils Rome was represented but not presiding. Only at Chalcedon, the fourth council , also held in the east and heavily represented by easten Churches, did Leo’s representatives preside. 

The anti-Christ lie in this article is that Jesus was just one of many “Avatars” who have come to SHOW us the way to become “Avatars” ourselves rather than the “One of a Kind” (monogenes) Son of God who became sin for us in order to redeem those who believe in Him. 

Do not fear these people or their lying doctrines if you are one of God’s elect, just use your renewed mind and God will reveal the lies so prolific in this dark age. 

The following excerpts are from: http://reluctant-messenger.com/biblical-corruption.htm 

I (the Reluctant Messenger) didn’t write the Biblical Corruption Article but I reprinted it (with permission) because it was done so well. I believe the non-trinity view of Allan Cronshaw is correct. I also believe Christ is/was YHWH and KRISHNA and Melchezidek – in other words the spirit that incarnated Jesus Christ has incarnated more than once. 

Biblical Corruption 

Christ lived an example life for us and the begettal was part of the “example” and was also necessary for him to become free of the cycle of birth and death forever just as it can be for us. The Bible records that Christ is the firstborn of many brethren — 

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 

Christ was the pace setter, the trail blazer, the initiator of a new and improved way for us to achieve God Consiousness. 

HAS THE BIBLE BEEN FAITHFULLY PRESERVED?
By Allan Cronshaw 

Modern day Christian doctrine rests upon the premise that God preserved the Bible in an absolute infallible and pure state, in order that all men should know the (historical) truth and believe in the Son of God. Their doctrinal position is that if God permitted the Bible to have been altered, then the present day church could not be genuine. Based upon this dogmatic presumption that the Christian Church must be maintained in order for man to be saved, they reason that God would not allow the written word of the scriptures to be corrupted. Thus, modern Christians cling to this doctrine — ignoring overwhelming evidence to the contrary — evidence that demonstrates conclusively that our Bible has been severely altered and edited — because they fail to grasp the very foundational principles of the New Covenant itself — principles that are not historical, but spiritual. It is not until we understand that the Bible is a road-map that leads us to the Gate of the Kingdom, and the Word that is written in our hearts — rather than a final revelation from God to man — that we are able to even begin to come to terms with the Spiritual Gospel of Christ that can never be corrupted. 

 Further he writes;

 The problem is that, regardless of how much evidence is shown to the majority of modern Christians — evidence which demonstrates conclusively that the New Testament scriptures were severely altered by the Church of Rome —

 

  

The Rise & Fall of Evolution

Posted: January 8, 2010 in Heresy, Science, Theology

The Rise & Fall of Evolution

 The Historical Context of the Development of Evolutionary Theories

by

Joe Robinson

The Birth of Evolution within Primitive Science

Darwin did not invent the idea of evolution. By combining the theories of Robert Chambers and Alfred Wallace with his own observations of the micro-variations within species on the isolated archipelagos islands, which for him demonstrated the selective processes of nature, he stitched together a logically plausible hypothesis of common descent; logically plausible only until the complexity of life became known a century later.

A significant discovery in biology (the study of life) was made by German biologist Rudolf Virchow in 1858, one year before Darwin was published. Virchow observed and studied organic cell structure and determined correctly that only living matter can produce new living matter. This knowledge is important since it allows for changes within species but refutes the evolutionist supposition of spontaneous generation of life from dead matter, a theory finally completely destroyed by Pasteur 20 years after Darwin’s ‘Origins’, in 1864 with his discovery of bacteria. The processes of evolution includes mutation, linkage, heterozygosity, recombination, gene flow, population structure, drift, natural selection, and adaptation, all of which have been observed in existing life in micro-stages, but nothing close to the astronomical number of processes necessary for formation or evolution of a single cell to any higher lifeform with trillions of cells,(each with an individual DNA molecule) have ever been observed or even schematically mapped; and oh yeah, one observation necessary for life without a designer is missing and has never been observed, nor is it possible to describe or cause to happen, that is the observation of dead matter combining in such a way as to form living matter. Only a Creator past our comprehension is capable of that.

It is well known that the community of biological, paleontology and ‘Origins’ science’s were infested with impostors in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. One of the most notorious was German Scientist Ernst Haeckel. In his enthusiasm for evolution Haeckel dreamed up stages of evolution and published fraudulent drawing’s in reputable science journals in 1868 as proof of the theory. He also included the fraudulent drawings in a textbook “The History of Creation” 1876.

The fraud was discovered and refuted in 1875 but Haeckel’ stubbornly refused to admit the fraud and his book continued to be published until 1923.

In another fraud Haeckel invented an ‘ape man’ evolutionary link complete with scientific name and descriptive drawing, Professor Rudolf Virchow, famous for his work on cell research, and also president of the Berlin Anthropological Society, was scathing in his criticism of Haeckel for being so brazen as to give a zoological name to a creature that there was absolutely no evidence had even existed. In spite of his proclivity to introduce false evidence in his defense of evolution Haeckel was highly regarded as an evolutionist. Recently I found him in a scholars edition of debates on evolution. The 4 volume publication is called “Design after Darwin” and is in the “Evolution and Anti-Evolution: Debates after Darwin” series of books, published by the Thoemmes Continuum, and edited by Richard England of Salisbury University.

Darwin made his observations and hypothesized his theory initially in 1844 and published in 1859, at a point on the timeline of world history and of science that;

Spontaneous generation was accepted as fact for another 20 years.

 The pony express was America’s method of long distance communication

 The first transcontinental railroad in America was built 25 years later.

 The first telegraph transmission was made this year from Baltimore to Washington, Samuel Morse coded “What hath God Wrought?”

 The first successful Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable was 22 years in the future (1866)

 The electric light was 35 years in the future

 The first electrical power generating/distribution system was 38 years in the future

 Radio waves had not been discovered, that happened 51 years in the future

 The telephone had not been thought of, it came 32 years later

 Louis Pasteur had not yet made his discoveries in bacteriology, in the meantime millions were dying from disease causing germs.

 It wasn’t until the decade of 1884-1894 that the bacteria causing typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria and others were identified. (40 to 50 years after Darwin’s theory.)

 A medical operation was usually a death sentence since Joseph Lister had not yet discovered the principles of antisepsis, a discovery that would save millions from death by infection.

 The Rabies were a terminal disease

 The first wireless telegraph was 61 years in the future

 The first transatlantic telephone cable is 85 years in the future

 The basic structure of the atom was not known for another 54 years

 Light was thought to propagate through an ethereal cosmic fluid called the ether until 1905.

 Machines were powered by water, wind and steam

 Automobiles had not been thought of, came 49 years later

 Blood types were unknown

 Radioactive elements were unknown

 X- Rays were discovered 51 years later

 The electron was discovered 53 years later

 The first electronic numerical calculating machine (ENIAC) was 104 years in the future

 Jules Verne had not yet written his imaginative though scientifically untenable story ” A trip to the Moon”

This is only a very short list of the most basic scientific and historical events that had -not- yet happened, things that had yet to be done to lay the foundations of modern civilization and science. I include Verne’s fantasy only to show how fanciful and primitive scientific thought actually was, (if you read the book, you know that Verne’s method of propulsion was to use a cannon to propel his ship to the moon.)

Atheism requires and is necessarily under girded by Darwinian evolution in spite of it’s primitive origins. Since there is no Creator in the atheistic philosophy of existence, the atheistic scientists such as Carl Sagan and theologians (Robert Funk & the Jesus Seminar) must stubbornly hold to the primitive notion of evolution as the explanation for human existence, in spite of the fact that macro-evolution is an hypothesis formulated within the constructs of primitive science.

An example of this is the theory of spontaneous generation (life generated out of ‘nothing’) which was accepted as fact until the work first of Rudolf Virchow in 1858 and finally Pasteur’s work in bacteriology conclusively disproved the fallacy 20 years after Darwin first wrote “Origins” (1844), even if the modern evolutionist will not concede the point.

New Knowledge

The most important scientific developments posterior to Darwin which radically challenges evolution is the science of Genetics. The fruitful research by Crick and Watson in their discovery of the DNA molecule has opened up to science a universe of knowledge previously undreamnt of.

In the early 1990’s the human genome project and DNA research, having demonstrated the previously unfathomable complexity of life has assured that there are no geneticists who will venture to hypothesis a step by step evolutionary process, simply because it is mathematically impossible for random mutation to occur at a rate necessary to match up in even the simplest forms necessary to create the most basic cell within the timescale of our solar system. Rather than waste time attempting that impossibility, the geneticists and micro-biologist choose the quest to map and identify the human genome, the human genetic blueprint.

Cosmologists know this as well, they remain silent because they are embarrassed that after so many years of mocking Christians their research has succeeded only in proving that the window of time (relative to our sun) in which organic life can live on this earth is two million years, after which the chemical changes in our sun and surrounding star clusters will make organic life impossible. So even if life could spring forth from dead matter, two million years is infinitely too short for the random bonding and mixing of chemicals and elements that would be necessary in order to generate even the simplest structures of organic life.

Tom Brown a friend and a Philosopher has written;

My contention with evolution is not predicated on my Christian conviction. As the scientific understanding of genetics and organ systems has increased, so has the insurmountable improbability of evolution. As an explanatory schematic for explaining the origin of complex life on this planet- Evolution is laughable.

Albert Einstein once declared: “From the human circulatory system alone, I know there is a God”. That statement was not an expression of Jewish dogma. He knew that the complexity and interdependency of a heart, with its valves, veins and arteries could not arise by chance. In order for the simplest circulatory system to function, numerous structures must be in place at the same time. Not to mention a clotting compound to keep the poor organism from bleeding to death.

Charles Darwin, in his Origin of Species, admitted that the evolution of an eye presented a problem to his theory. Fortunately, it is no longer a problem- it is an utter impossibility.

What selective value could be produced by photons (light) bombarding a retina, unless an optic nerve were in place to transmit the impulses to a brain? Even then, the brain must be previously formated to inform the organism to run away from a predator or to obtain its prey.

Evolution is no longer lacking a ‘link’ ; it has lost its chain. All you need is a book on Biochemistry and a $5.00 calculator from Wal Mart. If anyone believes that a circulatory system or an eye evolved from a series of birth defects (mutations), you are free to do so.

Just who is the Designer?

And then there is Francis Crick’s struggle with evolution in the light of the complexity of the DNA molecule. That is, until he finally conceded it’s impossibility (and he was right) and decided that aliens must have engineered human life (he was wrong). He made this assertion publicly not once but three times. He decided on alien’s as our designers because if they exist (and for him, they must,) at least they live in the material universe rather than being transcendent. Even if that were so the same problem exists, only of a larger magnitude seeing how advanced the aliens would have to be. So, who made the aliens?

One last scientific principle to bury evolution;

Entropy This law states that any system left to itself tends toward chaos and decay. The very opposite of evolutionist thought, where systems left to themselves tends toward organization

 Also entropy combined with the laws of thermodynamics tells us that the universe is winding down and cooling off, at a rate faster than evolution could randomly mutate so many highly organized lifeforms on earth.

While most of nineteenth century and many of twentieth century scientific theories have been abandoned in light of new discover, the Word of God still stands, even after 3500 years of assault.

In Conclusion

While it is understandable how easy it would be to formulate a theory of evolution when life seemed to spontaneously generate itself daily, today we know that life does not spontaneously generate itself and that life is ‘re-generated after it’s own kind. The modern scientific methods of microbiology and genetic research demonstrate the irreducible complexity of life to such a degree as to make the possibility of these theories more science fiction than fact.