To quote a melting green skinned character, “What a world, what a world”.
Apparently way back when Rome was the civilized world there came this extra special teacher carpenter person who orated, much like an itinerant Rabbi, about this kinda new and improved version of reality to the people in rural nowheresville. Word has it he was a carpenter but I think that’s a back story to mask his super power capabilities. I mean who’d suspect a religious nut job, right?
This same teacher/wizard, whatever, was posthumously proclaimed “light of the world” even “the messiah” decades after his spark went out by authors who never met the guy? All well and good but for the fact that civilization crumbled in no small part due to his pronouncements. Fantastical stories kept accumulating over many decades. Like how he was born illegitimate because his mom was raped by an Angel who was a proxy of a God. Some even said he was God light to that exact same God. After he died he became undead. Heck of a trick but totally believable. In those days folks knew about other people who knew about important people becoming Gods. Happened all the time. Apparently he could walk on water, fooled around with the orbit of our star and what must have been a local favorite turned water into wine. There’s more but you have to read the book. Be advised. Adult content.
Our tale began in said same backwater at around the year one. Inexplicably, no one thought to document the event. You’d think. But no. Oh well. No biggie, there’s a collection of Iron Age books that substantiates the story. Anonymous you say, no way, they were known. Peter, Paul and the rest. Right? Nope. There were over 40 other gospel books that didn’t quite fit the narrative. Can’t have that. So with some careful weeding and pruning—voila abolished. Seriously now, there are hundreds of examples of similar religious texts in circulation during the centuries before and after this time period. Think of it as a writing competition. Participants summit manuscripts to be edited then judged? The earliest of this stories books were authored 40 to 50yrs. after the light blinked out. There are no surviving original books. The earliest copies are only fragments of copies of copies—-translations written in Greek over 230 years later. So much for on the seen reporting.
If things weren’t weird enough, folks had mysteriously acquired a new organish type thing called a soul. It is completely undetectable and survives your death. Really, you’d never know you had one. Think of it as a tether connecting you to the big guy. This is a big deal because your after life is subject to your life experiences and deeds. See, your life is only a trial, suffering is good for you and there are caveats. Last minute escape scenarios are available. Only people who know what’s what in the special book go to the good place and the rest—. There’s a judge, no jury and the outcome was decided before you arrived.
Very unlucky for them because they could be in conflict with this newly minted hereafter. Kinda like facing Caesar and waiting for his thumbs up or down. The ultimate touch and go. Lots of variables. Never mind that those who came before were in the dark about the “light of the world” but a rule is a rule.
From that moment on humanity was transformed into a game of save your soul. It is understood that the aforementioned God knows your every thought as you trudge lives path it has preordained for you. It makes people flawed from birth and then commands them to get well or be tortured for eternity. What a prince.
Oh joy, lets all debase ourselves and worship, give thanks with conviction to commemorate the miraculous event. If you ever question the credulity of this sanctified life path—. Any miscue or questioning of Devine doctrine will result in a very nasty and everlasting error in judgment.
Not to worry, your salvation is assured. Revelation to grace was deveined by your sect’s progenitor. You hope. Of course they know it’s in the book and you guys have the correct version and have the correct interpretation. Don’t you? There are thousands of Christian sects. You can always hope.
Such a pity because the rest of humanity is doomed to eternal damnation. So sad, but there it is. If only they had come to know about what’s his name? You know, The Jewish carpenter. I wonder, was he a tradesman or craftsman? A form over function kind of guy? By the way, he didn’t write a word. Must’ve had a recording thing. They had tablets right? Now, if your really lucky you’ve been exposed to the correct interpretation of the gods crystal clear text. Wow, I mean, what if it really is the Nazarenes who have it all figured out?
There are about 34,000 different Christian groups in the world since AD 30. This is according to the World Christian Encyclopedia published in 2001. There are 1,200 different Christian denominations existing in the United States today. Some groups classify Christianity into 8 meta-groups, namely Roman Catholicism (the largest), Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and Assyrian Churches, Protestantism, Restorationism, Anglican Communicants, Pentecostal, and others. One has to be correct, right? You want to be associated with the group in the know after your dead. At the moment of truth a breach in the Christian doctrine (when doctrine is frequently at odds with itself) will likely make your after life destination a total crap shoot.
News flash, this pathway to paradise ain’t free, a modest tithe to spread the word and the folly of none belief. It’s a small price to pay for membership in this very exclusive and tax exempt community. The chosen will have the pleasure of listening to the same tales told by other chosen persons less than remarkable lives followed by devotionals to your keeper on and on for infinitum. This afterlife path sounds so sublime it’s no wonder devotees will dial down, no neuter, their critical thinking skills to assure their inclusion.
You know what it feels like when something makes your skin crawl? Well knowing people believe these things really creeps me out.