|Dr. of Christian Studies by Rev. Kirk Haas|
"I came to set the earth on fire, and what do I wish? That it were already ablaze! I have a bath to be bathed, and how can I rest easy till that is carried out? Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, I came to bring division: from now on there will be five in one house split three against two or two against three. Father will be turned against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother."
- Luke Chapter 12, The Unvarnished Gospels, translated by Andy Gaus
This was the passage that moved me most. It disturbed me most. I stopped when I read "peace on earth", and asked 'isn't this what I have believed, that Jesus was peace loving?' I began to look at it from a different angle than that of the Christian driven trust in God. I began to question if there was a motivation of Jesus that is underneath what the religious 'powers that be' wanted us to believe. I stepped away from the purity of the message and looked at it as an historian. This had a profound change in how I read the four gospels. It was no longer written verification of what I believed. It had now become historic recollection of what might have been.
What if Jesus knew that his people needed a leader to stand up to the Jewish and Roman political/religious powers, and motivated them to turn away from the elders and live their lives in a new, rebellious religious way? What if Jesus orchestrated his martyrdom to create an end to the, what had become, hypocritical religious dogma? Jesus' knowledge of the Holy Scriptures was beyond compare. Even today, elaborate hoaxes have been put on the public with full success. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I am now more curious than before. I am more open to look at it from a different point of view.
I started rereading the gospels to look for other examples. What I found is not important. What is important is that I looked. I questioned what I believed. Isn't that what Jesus meant by bringing division? Questioning the existing practice, questioning the practices of our fathers that had gone away from what God taught? In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we have four different views of Jesus and his thirty some years on this earth. We have many translations that differ slightly or seriously, and one thing remains true through all of this, there was no scribe writing Jesus' words down. We have only recollections, years after the fact. We have what may be the truth, the Book of Thomas, and it was denied inclusion into the Bible? Was it because Jesus was a Gnostic?
"Don't think I came to cast peace across the land. I didn't come to cast peace, I came to wield a sword…. and to make a man's servants his enemies."
-Matthew Chapter 10
I deeply enjoyed this course, however after this course I have more questions than comfort. My belief has not been shaken, but it has been stirred.
Rev. Kirk Haas
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