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Were the Gnostics the Original Christians : Part One Paranoia

Traditionalist Christians frequently use metaphors of violent assault to describe 'the day they accepted the Lord.' This experience is frequently equated with a 'near death experience' and such dangerous experiences are known to be the cause of Traumatic Stress Disorders...this would mean that many obviously disturbed Christians are actually suffering from a combination of personality disorders, triggered by the violence and dangerous threats of the Christian Conversion experience (which means then that these individuals are sick, rather than sinful). This leads us to ask how something which is so harmful in its effects can ever be considered a good thing.

Religion as Traumatized Personality Disorder

A study of the literature suggests that a reasonable hypothesis can be formulated which suggests that the trauma and violence of the traditionalist Christian conversion experience leads to first a type of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which once Christian doctrines have been internalized and accepted then goes through a metamorphosis and transforms into what seems to best described as a Paranoid Personality Disorder or Dependent Personality Disorder or a combination of the two.

It is common for traditional Christians to speak in language which others identify as the articulation of a fantasy, in that the experiences Christians describe are understood to be unreal and thus the product of a deluded mind (which leads some to suppose then that Christianity is actually the product of a defective intellect, as you can tell by reading some of what passes for critical commentaries on Christianity and the Christian it produces).

The genius of classic Christian dogma is that it has successfully mystified many common ordinary human experiences, and for this reason what these Christians describe was a powerful and very real experience, and the reality of this experience then reinforces the underlying doctrine, which then leads to further experiences which are then once again understood to be confirmation of the doctrines. The process is circular, and Christians will often insist that one needs to be saved and then everything will suddenly make sense, which is true, although the experiences have been mystified in the service of doctrines. This does not make these confirmation experiences any less real to the individual while their interpretation of such experiences remains fundamentally flawed.

The process of mystification is used to create an imaginary person, the Holy Ghost. The evidence for the sudden presence of this Ghost like being in the life of the Christian upon conversion is then understood as evidence supporting the existence and what is called 'the work of the Holy Ghost.' For example, the Holy Ghost 'convicts people of their sins'. According to doctrine, the primary task of the Holy Ghost is to induce guilt followed by conviction on the matter of sinfulness, the core doctrine of the Christian belief system of 'sin and redemption'.

It is a peculiarity of human nature that people crave acceptance by other human beings, and react badly to rejection and the disapproval of others. One formulation of this phenomena refers to the process as 'peer pressure' and the result is a desire to conform in order to be accepted. People also attempt to hide certain behaviors or certain facts about themselves out of fear of ridicule and consequent rejection by the larger group. This subtle process has been successfully mystified and thus obscured by Christian doctrine, and the end result is that Christians, through manipulation and the many subtle means of giving or withholding acceptance, constantly create the conditions for the 'conviction of sin'. This experience of being 'convicted by the Holy Ghost' is a very real and powerfully felt experience, but it is nothing more than the mystification of a common human behavior pattern, and the circular reinforcement is nothing more than Christians reinforcing Christians and actually has nothing to do with a Ghost. Nevertheless this functions as a powerful control method for indoctrination into group think, which will then be named and then experienced as the ongoing 'work of the Holy Ghost'.

A similar process is at work in what is described as the appearance of Jesus into the life of the believer, this taking place as part of the conversion experience. Once again human social interaction has been mystified, but a Christian will insist that the forceful presence of Jesus was very real, simply because the experience was powerfully felt, and due to the lack of consciousness of human interaction fostered by Christian mystification of human behavior, this will then be interpreted as powerful and convincing evidence for the presence of Jesus.

Christian conversion experiences are violent and deeply felt episodes, and most Christians testify that it was an experience they will never forget. The Church Jesus of theology is an extremely dangerous individual, whose methods for dealing with people are sadistic, violent, and threatening. The trauma of being brutalized and threatened with extreme violence by 'Jesus' is mystified in Christian descriptions of the conversion experience which employ metaphors of murder. For example one was 'slain by the Holy Ghost' and at that time Christ caused one 'to die to self'. Violent metaphors compare Christ to an aggressor who 'grabs ahold of your life' and 'begins dealing with you'. Under fearful threats of violence, Christ then is reported to do such things as force people to burn all their music collection or other such things, which is then done, since who wants to face the torturous punishments of Jesus? Jesus is punitive, a right wing authoritarian, a strict disciplinarian whose task is to 'take away sin'.

Christians insist that the presence of Jesus is very real, because their experience is so profoundly felt, but this is not evidence for a violent intervention by Jesus, but rather what is being mystified here is the brutality of Christians. Like an abused child Christians turn to abuse others themselves, using the same violence and brutal threats with which they were once 'saved by the Grace of God', and the highly mystified language and doctrines of Christians disguise human behavior behind mystified metaphors about a 'Holy Ghost' or 'the coming of the Lord'. This leads to a confused, hidden circular process of reinforcement.

The violence of the conversion experience is responsible for creating what is so often recognized as the disturbed Christian with what people understand to be a disordered personality, in the worst case scenario the result being a personality style that is extremely weird and eccentric. What we have here is simply Christians abusing and violating other Christians, Christians being violently abused and threatened in the most absurd ways from pulpits by violently abused disordered ministers, who themselves have been abused by Bible schools, by other evangelists, or by their parents.

The end result is the spread of a type of contagious personality disorder resulting from traumatic exposure to violence, a form stress disorder which in this case is uniquely Christian, and is the one time I can think of when what is actually a personality illness is regarded by a culture as being a religious or spiritual practice, instead of being thought of as a condition which requires treatment and healing, the same treatment and healing which would be considered appropriate for rape victims or war veterans returning home traumatized from places like Vietnam or Iraq or any other war zone. Even though religion is a form of violence and thus a form of assault, for some reason no one considers treatment to be an appropriate option for the religious condition, even though this condition, like all the others of its type, is also the result of violent abuse.

Diagnosis - the Paranoid Personality Disorder My personal experience with an unwelcome violent Christian conversion experience took place when I was fifteen, and resulted in what I later recognized as the clear symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The experience of life threatening danger and the resulting traumatic personality disintegration parallels the 'death language' used by Christians in that in a form of 'spiritual murder' 'I was slain by Jesus' and then I proceeded to 'die to self' (this destruction of my personality being a very painful experience).

Most Christians then describe a type of struggle as Christ attempted to 'take complete control of their lives' and I can once again identify with this mystification. What I do not identify with is the next step in the process, which is described by Christians using attack metaphors and war fare language as being the 'surrender to Jesus'. This language of assault followed by 'surrender' then leads to 'Christ taking control of your life' it is said so that since you have now been slain, or to use other more shocking language, since you have been murdered by the Holy Ghost and have thus 'died yourself' it is then 'no longer you that live but rather Christ who lives in you.' This is the violent language of invasion and conquest, resulting in surrender to an overwhelming military force, followed next by what could compared to 'ethnic cleansing' (the destruction of your life) followed by a type of military occupation (now you no longer live but rather Christ lives where you once lived). I never went through this process myself since I did not respond well to violence and invasion, and therefore I remained in the preliminary state of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and never moved onto the next phase of the process, which my observations of Christians and reading of the literature leads me to believe is the development of a Paranoid Personality Disorder, this disorder only having the opportunity to develop once an individual has 'surrendered to Jesus'.

The resource titled Paranoid Personality Disorder describes the common diagnosis of the symptoms of this condition, and of all the possible disorders it is this one that seems to best describe what I have seen developing in Christians once they become 'born again'.

Those with PPD view humanity as being essentially evil and malevolent (in accord with the doctrine of original sin and totalistic damnation of all humanity, as the ideation of this disordered personality style has come to be formalized in Christian doctrine). It is believed that ordinary everyday events are actually manifestations of evil and thus threatening (this according with the Christian doctrine that holds that devils are at work everywhere, and that all humanity is possessed by such devils unless they have accepted Jesus).

Individuals with PPD are very dogmatic. They have "unusually strong convictions regarding the motives of others and difficulty considering alternative explanations for their actions," which means that they remain wedded to the idea that all actions are evil with sinful motives. They have a "tendency to interpret small events as having great significance and thus react strongly, apparently making mountains out of molehills." Christians often use militaristic language (they are going to conquer or seize such and such a town for Jesus, and so on, and the hymnals are full of militaristic songs celebrating the terrible sword of the coming Lord, and so on). Similarly, individuals with PPD have "a tendency to counterattack quickly in response to a perceived threat" and they are also argumentative, and consequently they often stir up hostility towards themselves from other people, which they then blame on the evil intentions harbored by other people. PPD individuals display a "tendency to search intensely and narrowly for evidence that confirms his or her negative expectations regarding others, ignoring the context and reading (plausible) special meanings and hidden motives into ordinary events." In addition to this stubborn streak of dogmatism, they also have what is called a "disdain for the defective" (this is certainly on display in the disdainful contempt Christians show for 'sinners' who 'died without Jesus' and are now burning in hell as the punishment for being 'defective'). . Those suffering from PPD display an "intolerance of doubt and uncertainty". They "alternate between the impotent, despised self and the omnipotent, vindicated self." This aspect of the personality disorder is displayed when Christians alternate between descriptions of themselves as 'the lowly sinner they are' and 'the born again saved believer filled with the righteousness of Christ Jesus.' According to the diagnosis of PPD, "These individuals view themselves as righteous... they will attempt to enhance their self-esteem through exerting power over others." This is best seen in the attempts to dominate others during the Christian conversion process, which is mystified version of interpersonal power relationships, as is understood by the violent imagery and the talk of 'complete control' and 'surrendering to Jesus' which typifies the ongoing power struggle which takes place during the conversion process. As well, they "pursue conflict with great tenacity, never seeming to tire in their quest for self-vindication; they acquire an inordinate fondness for righteous causes." Anyone familiar with the tireless, not to mention endless crusades of the Christians will recognize this personality attribute without any need for any further commentary.

Individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder are said to be fixated on six core beliefs which permeate their entire belief system.

1. Disaster is on the horizon (a continuing sense of foreboding). (ie Armageddon)

2. The world is full of enemies. (Ie. Sinners and devils)

3. Accidents are doubtful; negative events are initiated by others with hostile intent. (Ie. Devils are at work)

4. All events relate to self. (Ie. Imaginative descriptions abound of how a certain weather pattern caused them to be in a certain place and time, guided by the hand of God...these sorts of stories are just endless)

5. Individuals with PPD are never to blame or guilty (others are). (ie. they are 'saved' in a world of doomed sinners)

6. Individuals with PPD are different from the rest of humanity, often with pretensions of having unique awareness or insight. (Ie. No comment required here)

Those with PPD are dogged in pursuing their causes, and they "fight the good fight" no matter what the cost may be. They look for opportunity to force people they perceive as being in positions of power to surrender and admit that the goals of the PPD individual are correct. They perceive all negative consequences as evidence that the world is evil and corrupt. They project and they blame, and they also tend to see all problems as being caused by external events and forces, rather than internal difficulties. "They will scan the environment for minimal clues that validate their preconceived ideas," and they display "arrogance, self-righteousness, feelings of inferiority and envy, sexual anxiety, moralism, and an inner readiness to lie and distort." The famous anxiety over sexuality displayed Christians needs no comment, and it is also worth noting that when it comes to promoting the obvious fiction that claims that the Bible is 'infallible and without error' being 'the Word of God' I have always been surprised at the 'inner readiness' of Christians to 'lie and distort'.

Paranoid personality disordered behavior has also been described with the following: blamelessness (with aggression legitimized as a counterattack), passive-aggressiveness (passive and surrendering to Jesus while being very aggressive with other human beings, in particular when in the midst of the violence of the conversion experience), superciliousness (haughty, arrogant, and superior behavior), seeking trouble for the purpose of self-vindication, exaggerated competitiveness, vengefulness (unremitting), verbal malice, manipulativeness, grandiosity, a fondness for righteous causes, and grandiose rescue fantasies.

The cause of Paranoid Personality Disorder

According to the diagnosis, the dominant factor in the creation of PPD is fear. And in the case of Christian Paranoid Personality disorder that this should be the cause of the illness makes perfect sense, given the violence and the attempt to instill such fear which is the predominant methodology employed during the conversion experience. Now that nothing good comes from violence or cruelty, and that nothing positive results from terrorism of the sort practiced by the fictional Jesus of theology should be obvious (and it is reasonable to call the vile threats of Jesus and his extreme tortures to be a form of terrorism, this being the one time that terrorism is thought to be for the good of society, one must suppose). That the results of this form of spiritual assault and mental abuse should be a personality disorder, in particular Paranoid Personality Disorder, is not a surprise, since it is fear and terror that is the dominant affect of PPD.

PPD individuals struggle with an intense fear of being harmed or abused, and they use self righteousness and even anger to cover this fear. According to the diagnosis the "intensity of the fear, rage, envy, and dread for individuals with PPD is a factor in the tirelessness with which they fight " the good fight." Only when they believe that they are vindicated and others are controlled is an element of safety introduced " They also have a blind spot, interpreted as 'hypocrisy', for while "people with PPD avoid awareness of their own unattractive behaviors and characteristics, they remain extraordinarily alert to, and hypercritical of, similar features in others."

PPD develops in " an atmosphere charged with criticism, blame, and hostility. In treatment, rapport is hindered by their belief that others, including service providers, intend to harm and exploit them." Certainly they believe that Jesus might very well harm them, and in Christian theology, Jesus is a kind of 'healer', or the 'service provider' and so it would not be a surprise is they transferred the same deep seated paranoia to anyone else who tried to help them. We are told that "in the treatment setting, these individuals tend to be resistant, provocative, and contentious. Nevertheless direct confrontation and refutation of paranoid assertions are counterproductive. Rather, the clinician can introduce an element of doubt." However they "will not necessarily welcome skilled interpretation." This is certainly true of Christians, as I have found out over the years, in that they do not respond to even the most skillful analysis or the most obvious critiques of the errors of the Bible, something that has puzzled me for years, and often made me angry (since I interpreted this behavior as willful sinfulness, and this interpretation encourages an angry response). Christians are often confronted with anger or ridicule, and ironically, this is the worst thing you can do with a person suffering from PPD, for "treatment is very stressful for individuals with PPD because of their difficulty with self-disclosure and fear of harm as a result of being open. Care must be taken not to move too quickly or to threaten these individuals."

Conclusion

The Paranoid Christian Personality Disorder best explains the disturbing behavior patterns of many Christians, as well as their resistance to every effort to effect a change. This disordered personality style is the direct result of the terror and violence of Christian doctrine and the violence of the methodology employed during the Christian conversion experience. That such violence constitutes a form of assault should be readily apparent, and it is not surprising that nothing good comes from violence or terror, while the claims of Christians that the severity of these methods are required in order to produce a 'new person' the claim is invalidated by the fact that the new person has a personality disorder. This being the case it implies that quarreling with Christians, angry denunciations and ridicule are an ineffective method for countering the great harm caused to any society by Christians. Christians are known for their attempts to corrupt the legal system (by installing punitive judges), denying birth control to families in the so called 'third world', resulting in hungry, unwanted babies (they have been given this power by the Bush administration), speaking with malice against teachers and professors and anyone who questions their doctrines, replacing science with superstitions in the schools, never ending attempts to deny civil rights to certain groups of people, among so many other troublesome things Christians do as they deliberately go out looking for trouble in the hopes of controlling others (one of the symptoms of their illness). Even given all this, if Christians are actually suffering a debilitating illness, and are victims of violence, and not simply sinners, then this has implications for how resistance should be mounted to Christian offensives against the larger society. Sinners arouse angry denunciations and conflict, but those who are ill elicit a different response. At the very least understanding the process which drives the disordered personality style of the Christian is a prerequisite to formulating strategies for any possible actions intended to deal with the difficulties caused to the larger society by crusading Christians and their untreated disorder.

Paranoia in the Bible

There are classic examples of documents which were written by individuals who were clearly paranoid which are now to be found in Bibles on book shelves and in drawers in hotel rooms around the country. These paranoid delusions have been translated into countless languages and printed and distributed billions of times, since apparently it was thought that the harmful and weird ravings of these disturbed and paranoid individuals was something we just could not live with out having the gracious opportunity to read, and their paranoia was apparently supposed to be a gift of grace. That people could be so ill, and a society so numbed out and insensitive to recognize that something was terribly wrong is a poor testimony as the actual results of Christian doctrine when it becomes the dominant force in a culture. Something that harmful cannot be good and something that breeds such insensitivity is obviously not something humanity requires but rather something humanity should avoid.

One of the more violent examples of paranoid ravings is found in some thing called 'the letter from Jude'. According to myth, Jude was 'the brother of Jesus' and so apparently Jesus' brother was a very disturbed individual suffering from a severe case of paranoia. The same paranoia was then picked up by 'Peter', a letter which repeats what we find in 'Jude' and then expands upon it with additional chapters of paranoid ravings.

Jude tells us that certain individuals had 'wormed their way into the church.' They were enemies who practiced perverted sex. The author then shares his own paranoid version of the story of the Exodus of the slaves from Egypt, reminding the readers of how after the slaves were freed they were damned to an eternity in hell for unbelief. Similarly the author pictures a paranoid picture of the fate of angels who lost their heavenly place and now live chained in dark dungeons awaiting their fearsome day of utter damnation in hell. And what paranoid rant would be complete without some paranoid fag bashing, reminding us all how Sodom and Gomorrah practiced perverted sex and even now are burning forever in hell 'as a warning to all.' In the same way there are perverted fags lurking about the churches today who also practice perverted sex, lusting and defiling their own bodies, and reserved for them is an endless eternity of the deepest darkest blackness in the very lowest pits of hell. Paranoid Peter repeats all this and then goes off onto an even longer paranoid rant about the dangers posed to the church by these Sodomite sex perverts. The letter to the Hebrews opens with a paranoid version of the Exodus story, where once again the slaves get sent to hell after being freed and therefore the author insists that we must all greatly fear lest we too after coming so far should wind up pissing off God and getting sent to join those slaves from Egypt. Rather we should approach God with fear and trembling for it is a terrible terrible thing to fall into the cruel hands of the living God for our God is an all consuming fire.

For years I have been amazed that such sick individuals could be regarded as the author of holy scripture, and while in the past I speculated that they were sociopaths, the clear signs of paranoid disorder have since caused me to adjust my diagnosis. The fearful Christian doctrine had in their cases resulted in one powerful case of paranoid personality disorder, and there are traces of the same thing scattered throughout both the Jewish and the Christian portions of the Bible (that Jewish God often being portrayed as every bit as monstrous and ghoulish as the Christian God, and in both cases, paranoid illnesses were the result).

Questioning the Christian Doctrine of Sin It is the fear which is the root cause of paranoia, and Christianity doctrine instills fear which is based upon the doctrine of sin and punishment.

Traditionalist Christians frequently use metaphors of a type of violent assault to describe 'the day they accepted the Lord.' This experience is frequently equated with a type of 'near death experience' and such dangerous experiences are known to be the cause of Traumatic Stress Disorders, and I would suggest that what people often see as the 'bad' or 'evil' behavior of some Christians, whose behavior is perceived as weird and irrational, is best not judged as a type of 'evil conduct' (in otherwords the result of a sin or of a lack of intelligence, a diagnosis of the condition all to common) but rather such disturbed Christians are actually suffering from a combination of personality disorders, triggered by the violence and dangerous threats of the Christian Conversion experience (which means then that these individuals are sick, rather than sinful). The distinction is important, for if Christians are being sinful, then this encourages judgment, which encourages judgmental confrontation, accusations, shouting matches, and many of the other sorts of means of dealing with such Christians you so often see, all behaviors that are elicited if we believe that the conduct of a person is wrong, as in sinful, or ridicule and sarcasm are often employed (the assumption is that Christians are deficit in intellect). Neither of these behaviors are appropriate if we consider that an individual is suffering from an illness (an insight which then lends itself to greater tolerance and eliminates the drive to fight or quarrel with a sinner). One might conclude that the strong drive to divide people in society, and the angry confrontations that often result (as sinners are confronted angrily with their sinful conduct) are evidence for how deeply rooted Christian thought patterns are in our society (and in the end this oversimplified doctrines and the world view they create foster divisions which can never be overcome as people become hardened in their opposing positions).

It would also be an oversimplification to completely dismiss the notion of sin (as in evil or wrongdoing). Philosophers have been struggling with the concept of good and evil since before the time of Socrates. Experience seems to indicate that there are times when a persons conduct can be judged as sinful, evil, and the problem comes in when what is not a sin is misjudged as sinful, leading to inappropriate responses. It is the all encompassing claims of the doctrine of sin, the idea that the core problem with humanity is sin, that puts the doctrine of sin at the center of almost every controversy or difference between people, and this cannot be unrelated to the sweeping Christian doctrine of 'original sin' and the 'the sinful fall of humanity' which is the central doctrine of totalistic Christianity, which holds that everyone is born a sinner, and that for this reason everyone is going right straight to burn in hell unless they 'accept Jesus'. This totalistic ideology claims to explain all social problems and all problems between individuals as the result of all encompassing 'sinfulness', and it also serves to justify the totalistic claims of Christianity, and in that sense, the self serving nature of the doctrine becomes apparent (in that it places the Christian institution at the very center of the universe, since all things and everyone is sin, and all things and everyone is damned and condemned from the very moment of creation, and only the Christian institution can provide the cure and salvation from inevitable judgment).

As an example of the inadequacy of the doctrine of sin one need only consider the relationship that exists around the world between desperate poverty and societies riven with dangerous violence. For the purpose of analysis it might be good to examine an extreme example (and thus one where people would be most prone to oversimplify a situation and attempt to understand it in terms of 'sin and punishment, redemption and salvation'. Consider the genocide in Rwanda, where great mobs of people were stirred up to massacre those who had previously been their neighbors. Surely what we find here are terrible sinners, something that seems quite obvious when you consider what they have done. Traditional Christians would argue that the solution is to take the gospel to a place like Rwanda and then to 'save sinners, one sinner at a time.' The idea here is that by converting individuals, and saving them from their fallen sinful natures, eventually the entire society would be converted and thus evil would be stopped in its tracks.

Now one disturbing thought comes to mind, and we must ask ourselves that if everyone is sinner, just like the sinners, the citizens of Rwanda, then how can we feel safe in our countries. You will notice that when wild mobs go crazy, when large numbers of people turn to massacres, it is always in places like the Congo, or Rwanda. Typically one would expect to find such things as revolutionary movements brewing, or massacres taking place, in those countries where there is no social safety net and poverty is the most desperate. Americans or Europeans, as a couple of examples, never need to worry about a genocidal massacre, because the majority of people in those countries do not live in desperate poverty. It turns out that 'sinful human nature', which was supposedly inherited from Adam, and transmitted by Adam's sperm to everyone, only results in extremely bad sins where there is extremely bad poverty. This would suggest then that there is stronger correlation between 'sin' and poverty, and the stress disordered personalities that result from years of living under such conditions, than any correlation that is said to exist between sin and Adam, and as we consider these matters, the problem with the totalistic doctrine of sin becomes evident.

The Dutch lived in a small country, with a small population, but they wanted to be colonialists, like the other European powers, even if they didn't have the human resources needed to police and occupy an empire. For this reason the Dutch, or perhaps better said, certain powerful Dutch elites) set up an artificial ethnic system in places like Rwanda, dividing the population into Hutus and Tutsis (before this system was artificially created by the Dutch, there was no difference in 'ethnicity' in these nations, and thus no rational for 'ethnic cleansing', since there never was, and still is not, no real difference between a 'Hutu' or a 'Tutsi'. The idea here is that the Dutch conquerors would divide the population against itself by creating an artificial elite, and then this elite would seek to protect its privileges by identifying with the Dutch elite, and thus they would be counted upon to police the colonies on behalf of powerful Dutch interests, since the Dutch did not have the population base required to police an empire on their own. Thus an artificial class system was deliberately created, which in the end, created the conditions for genocide, as one class was plunged into desperate poverty, while one class received all the privileges and a share of the wealth, and was expected, oppressed the rest of the population as they sought to hang onto their gains in the midst of a surrounding sea of desperate poverty.

In the end the stress disordered personality style emerged which would allow Rwandas to massacre neighbors and participate in genocide. As well, certain powerful elite politicians understood that the anger in Rwanda had revolutionary potential, and they deliberately sought to diverty this revolutionary violence, by pitting Rwandan against Rwandan, by stirring up hatred and exploiting envy. In the end, instead of having a violent revolution, which toppled the powerful, Rwandans massacred Rwandans.

Now as I said, they don't slaughter each other by the millions in a nation like the United States, and so it is obvious that it was not Adam's sin or Adam's sperm that was the root cause of the genocide in Rwanda, but rather a disordered personality disease, the traumatization caused by grinding desperation and poverty was the underlying source of the problem. Can we therefore judge the Rwandans as 'sinners'. Would preaching the gospel to 'sinful Rwandans' and doing this 'one sinner at a time' have addressed the root cause of the violence and thus provide the required solution.

Certainly what the Rwandans did was wrong, but was it 'sinful' according to the most simplistic definition of the term. You know, for the most bears leave people alone, and tigers avoid people as well, but lately there have been reports of troublesome bear encounters in North America (as hungry bears change their personality styles and attack and confront humans due to the effects of drought) and in India starving tigers are found actually invading urban areas and eating people, something they would never have done if it were not for the fact that their habitat has been destroyed, leading to that strange mental aberration caused by persistent hunger, that results in unusual changes in tiger and bear behavior. People are no different.

While we might absolve Rwandans of 'sin' the corrupted powerful people of Rwanda had no such excuse. They saw a revolution coming, and to hold onto their power, they exploited the situation and turned Rwandan against Rwandan. The severe loss of population that resulted from the genocide then gave powerful elite groups some breathing room, as by the death of hundreds of thousands the genocide freed up some resources, taking the edge off of the most desperate poverty, and thus they were able to hang onto their power, not to mention their privileges and their wealth. In this case then we can assume that sin is sin when it is deliberate, premeditated and completely without excuse for that very reason, and for that reason while it is simplistic to damn hungry bears, tigers, or Rwandans for their 'sinful attacks' and their change in behavior, sinful Rwandan elites are indeed to be damned for sin for what they did was clear, premeditated evil, and they are therefore completely without excuse.

In no way does the traditional Christian doctrine of 'Adam's sin' from 'Adam's sperm' recognize the fundamental cause of violence in places like Rwanda, but that is because the traditional Christian Doctrine was created by powerful elite Roman priests, and so keeping this in mind the fact that such a doctrine actually obscures the matter while encouraging useless action is hardly a coincidence, since such a doctrine was designed to be obscurantist from the very start.

index 24.Jul.2004 05:52

brent

Were the Gnostics the Original Christians : Part Two Sin
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/07/293228.shtml
The doctrine of sin is so irrational when considered as a philosophy, riven with internal contradictions, that it must have been that case that such an unworthy doctrine was ever accepted in the first place is a testament to just how difficult it was to obscure the political meaning of the cross symbol, and just how desperate was the attempt to obscure this meaning, in that a philosophy so irrational and inconsistent was the final resort, apparently nothing better ever having come along that would do the job.




Were the Gnostics the Original Christians : Part Three Enlightenment
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/07/293230.shtml
In part one of this discussion I made the case that the violence and threats of the Christian conversion experience leads to a traumatic stress disorder common to victims of violence, which then evolves into a Paranoid Personality Disorder. In part two I discussed the origins of the doctrine of sin, since it is the fear inculcated by this doctrine that creates the disorder. This disorder is regarded as very difficult to treat, but the treatment involves the gradual introduction of doubt. Given the harmful effect of the doctrine of sin (paranoia) and the irrational inconsistency of the doctrine (it is reactionary) a satisfactory conclusion can be drawn the revolutionary doctrine of Gnosticism was the original Christian doctrine in that, unlike the doctrine of sin, its revolutionary philosophy is match (rather than a hindrance) to the cross symbol.

check out skepticsannotatedbible.com 24.Jul.2004 23:44

recovered Catholic

This website breaks down Biblical references by category: injustice, absurdity, cruelty, etc. The section "contradictions" has 330 items!

 http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com

Thank you 25.Jul.2004 01:35

thanker

for all this HEAVY thinking and writing. I have downloaded all three parts to study over time.

the problem with Christendom 13.Sep.2004 16:41

wisdom

I am so sorry for your jaded attitude about our Creator and his plan. It is true that Christendom has turned and twisted the word of God and paganism injects into many a belief system. That is why it is the individual's responsibility to acquire knowledge - not a pastor's, not a priest's, not a clergyman's responsibility, but our own responsiblity. Jehovah God does have a plan for you. You simply have to dig deeper than born again Christianity. My coming into God's light was not violent or strewn with threats. It was beautiful and I sought after the truth for months....proof....and it was given. I pray you will come to enlightenment.....and it will have nothing to do with TV evangalists or things that you have described in your diatribe. God's and Jesus' love is like the love of a mother and father only stronger.....at times reproving, but out of love. Seek the truth and pray for yourself as well. Pray for greater understanding. Pray for greater knowledge; and pray for wisdom. You aren't there yet.

Christian Theology is Anti-Gnostic 07.Oct.2005 15:59

Rob

Greetings Brent,

Some of your criticisms of Christianity are valid although
Gnosticism was strongly opposed by early Christians, however,
the tendency of Christians today to believe that the material
world is evil and the spiritual good I would argue is not
representitive of Biblical Christianity.

You stated that the doctrine of sin was invented by Roman priests
but the evidence suggests otherwise. You may deny the inspiration of
Holy Writ ,however,the Bible is with out equal when compared to all other
documents of antiquity with regard to extant copies of the autographa.
The doctrine of sin existed long before the Roman priesthood as is evident
in the Old Testament. Human depravity after the Fall is the teaching of
Scripture and the reason God sent a Redeemer namely the Lord Jesus Christ.
I admit there are wacky Christians that speak strangely but your description of conversion is not the experience of all Christians.

Iam not sure if you are positing naturalism as a Philosophy that you hold
and I do not wish to misrepresent you. Your use of psychological
terms indicate that in behavioural science you find wisdom
and truth regarding the human condition.Psychology also has internal contradictions that you seemingly ignore such as several competing theories
purported to be true by the men that first promoted them.

Biblical Christianity provides the only worldview that give science,logic
and ethics meaning and intelligbilty. All others are irrational including yours
when taken to their logical conclusion.
Rob