Heart Talk

In May and June, we will continue our study of the origins of Christianity in search of the historical Jesus and His true teachings. We will begin by considering the question: “Who were the real ‘heretics’ in the early church?”  

In his book, “The Lost Religion of Jesus,” Keith Akers writes, “Having fought on the losing side of so many struggles, I became suspicious of the growth of the Christian church as it swept into the Gentile world. Three decades ago, I began to discover “Jewish Christianity.” It is not that brand of Jewish Christianity which we find in the world today, which simply means Jews being converted to Pauline Christianity, but that Christianity of the first few centuries that remained Jewish and rejected Paul outright.”

It is a fact that In the beginning, Jesus and all of his followers were Jews. It is also a fact that in the end ‘the church’ rejected Orthodox Judaism and condemned all Jewish Christians as heretics and God killers. Until we resolve this paradox, we cannot hope to understand Jesus and His teachings. As St. Jerome said in the 4th century: “As long as they seek to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither Jews nor Christians.”

The earliest Christians avoided alcohol, rejected virgin birth and bodily resurrection, identified with the poor, practiced nonviolence, vegetarianism and meditative prayer. Their non-violence extended to include condemnation of animal sacrifice by the Priests in Jerusalem.

As Jews they held fast to the Law of Moses and explained Judaism’s practice of sacrifice and warfare by arguing that Moses had never said these things. They were added by ‘the lying pen of the Scribes.’  The odyssey of Jesus of Nazareth from a Jewish prophet crucified for the crime of insurrection against Rome to divine ruler of the cosmos is an extraordinary event in Western history and given the current state of biblical scholarship, one of the best documented. It may also be the GREATEST STORY THAT HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD!

In Love and Light, Bernadette

Click here to view a transcript of a recent sevice by Rev. Bernadette