Thursday, February 15, 2007

11:36 AM Posted by: M., 1 comments

I am reading a really interesting book right now. It is called Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew by Bart Ehrman. It is so interesting

It is about lost transcripts of the Bible and other scriptures that were not added to the Canon. It is also about other Christian sects that existed shortly after the time of Jesus and it illustrates very well just how incredibly diverse everyones' beliefs were.

Right now I am reading about this sect called the Marcionites (around 2nd or 3rd centuries A.D.) who believed that there were actually two Gods instead of one. First, there was the God of the Jews who is the God of the Old Testament and he is the one who is more wrathful and rigid--He was the God who created the world and chose the Jews and set up the strict laws against which he punished those who sinned...

Then, there is a second God who is the God of Jesus who is more loving and merciful. They believed that the God of Jesus created Jesus to appear as a human and sacrifice himself to save everyone of their sins in order to fool the God of the Jews into allowing all those who had previously died, to go to heaven. It is like the two Gods are at odds and the God of Jesus was aiming to undo the harshness of the God of the Jews. Also, the messiah that is predicted in the Old Testament was not Jesus, but is another Messiah intended for the Jews.

It is interesting too, because this sect is one of more who believe that Jesus was not fully human. They believed that Jesus appeared to be human, but that he was not truly made of flesh--and therefore they wonder if his sacrifice was really worth something because he did not endure the suffering as any other mortal would.

Also, I have been reading about how some early Christians believed that Jesus was a regular man who God just inhabited during his time of Biblical teaching and that God left the body of Jesus right before he died (so when Jesus cries, "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Mark 15:34 he is talking about God leaving him to die)

What I am concluding from all this reading is not much. I am just really intrigued by the fact that so many "christians" believed so many different things--but they still could have been sincerely, honestly seeking God. A lot of the things they believed would probably be seen as heretical by even the most "liberal" christians today. But still, in a greater realm, it makes me wonder about Christianity today--why do we think that we know it all? How are we so confident that what we know is undeniable truth? Didn't these other "christians" believe that back then as well?

In essence, I am kind of lead to think that the Christianity we have now is not some form that naturally envolved into its perfect existence. I kind of believe that the christianity we have today will just die out not too long from now and be replaced by some new, better form with new, better songs, and new better ideas and a new, better God. In this, I am so reluctant to get sucked into today's Christian world.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I believe what this author is talking about is gnosticism. I am not 100% sure so you may want to check it out.

Keep knocking on doors.