The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2013: “Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty … to … felony … and misdemeanors … from sexual harassment allegations”. “J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission related to the bank’s ‘London Whale’ trading debacle of 2012 …”. “Former Financial Corp. executive Rebecca Mairone said the ‘Hustle’. program was no hustle … the government alleges she and Bank of America … defrauded … Fannie Mae and Freddie through a program called the High Speed Lane, also known as ‘Hustle’ …”. “Ms. Mairone … could face civil penalties of … $1 million”.
Taken from just one day of WSJ reporting, these daily headlines point to an increasingly massive breakdown not only of legality but of morality in the highest (and lowest) levels of our country.
Why is this occurring? How did so many get to the point of increasingly having to replace their inner spiritual void with the greed-ridden ingredients of power and money? In addition to no doubt countless answers to this question, I offer that we have simply lost our God, and one reason for having so lost, is that our religions are too often failing to provide a meaningful spiritual food for our starving souls.
In claiming this, I refer to the fact that our scholars and pastors have known for many years there is another Christianity than the one we have practiced for the past two thousand years. Our clergy have chosen to hid it from us because they fear we are not ready for it – that it will cause too much of an uproar (which is likely true) – that the revelation will cause more damage than gain (which is likely not true). Fifty years ago that might have been true, but the fact that so many of us have since left the church because it no longer speaks to our needs, is evidence the damage is already occurring, and is a valid argument against continuing to ignore the new truth. This is not to say that conventional Christianity is no longer needed, for it is. It is needed and savored, by those to whom it speaks. But for those to whom it does not speak, the saving grace is that there is more than one Christianity, and always has been. It is the religion of Jesus that has been hidden and ignored. We have the conventional belief in Jesus as God – as Savior – as judge of right and wrong – born of a Virgin – one who’s body ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. (Actually, this is the story of Mithra, several hundred years before Jesus). And there is the other (actually the first) Christianity which was never called “Christianity”, that was/is the teaching of Jesus the human being. We find this original Christianity described in scriptures pre-dating the better known four gospels. But this original story, apparently being less attractive than the more fantastic gospel stories, gradually lost appeal, beginning shortly after Jesus death, and has not been recognized until recently.
While this new/old religion of Jesus is now deep in the process of being more fully defined, its origin lies within the hidden Gospels of “Q” and of Thomas, discovered in the early twentieth century, and is continuing to be defined in archeological and theological research since.
For me, the appeal of this current research is the realization that it is no longer necessary to abandon our intellect in order to believe the original truths. This freeing of our intellect from obedience to creed thereby renders it unnecessary to live a half-truth Christian life, which requires maintaining two faces to the public, and the potential for deceit and immorality that can go with it. Time is running out to speak up consciously and forcefully to reverse this trend, within us and outside us. In the meantime, until we bring this original (lost) teaching of Jesus into the 21st century -with a continually evolving message that feeds our souls better than power and money – the immoralities and illegalities are a viable recourse toward happiness and will surely continue: Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2013: “U.S. Accuses Infosys of “Fraud and Abuse”. “… British prosecutors say … three former journalists … … pleaded guilty to illegal … voice-mail interception”. “Forex Trade: Two recent members of an industry committee … have been put on paid leaves of absence amid … currency manipulations …”. WSJ November 20, 2013; “The biggest settlement between the government and a U.S. company … grew out of the Justice Department’s discovery of a 2006 meeting in which the executives for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. decided to continue selling shoddy mortgage securities …”
Robert Rock, Redding, CA,
Westar Associate, and
Product of Chicago Theological Seminary,
University of Chicago