From Douglas Lockhart in his book, Jesus The Heretic:
Jesus is by definition a heretic. And this is not to do Jesus an injustice, for in the light of his non-conformist teachings and behaviour, he was without doubt a heretical figure in Jewish eyes. And if he returned today, he would, likewise, be a heretic in the eyes of the Christian Church.
…and I too am a heretic by classical definition. But I also claim to be a ‘natural’ heretic, and mean by this that I’ve always had a tendency to question things, whatever their origin or supposed status. I do not consider this tendency pathological. And neither do I consider my taking a stand against Christianity’s claims for Jesus a spiritual impertinence. In fact, I feel the opposite. I feel, deeply, that Jesus the Nazarene has been done a great disservice by many of those claiming to hold him in high esteem. All I see is a sad-eyed prisoner of the Christian imagination locked inside a paradigm he did not, and would not now, condone. (Lockhart, p.9)
That Jesus gave the Pharisees and Sadducees a hard time cannot be denied, and that he probably gave the Essenes just as hard a time is only just beginning to be realized. This was a man of passionate belief, a man of action, a man who believed himself fully qualified and positioned to challenge the religious leaders of his time…. This was no half-baked revolutionary with a rabble behind him: it was an individual of clear mind and strong heart who wished to inaugurate a revolution on both the religious and social levels of his culture and time. This is what is so attractive about him – one sense the passion in him boiling away as he tries to make his often doltish disciples understand his insights and long-term plans. He is special, and he knows he is special. He can see only too clearly that his religious peers have become bogged down in narrow-minded, nit-picking practices, and as a Galilean with a deep sense of space and freedom he wants to reveal what he has personally found out about God – that He does not live in a box labeled Religion. (Lockhart, p.169)
On the road to God's redemption, 'organized religion' has set up toll booths. Is this legitimate?
Every creature can have a personal relationship with their Creator. Let that be a loving relationship. That is what your Creator longs for and is the key to your salvation IMHO.
Those who are self-important, i.e., those who believe they are more important than their fellow beings, are lost in their quest to know God IMHO. The Golden Rule means to value others as yourself. It's as simple as that and doesn't require a church, or a mosque, or a degree in theology to figure it out.
What's more, God's love for us is ineffable and can't be put into words or any sort of doctrine to be realized through books. Our Creator's meaning is expressed through life. In other words, God's love is not something you read, it is something you live, hence the Authoring of this universe in which we dwell. After all, words aren't alive, you are. So "spiritual authorities", which is a contradiction in terms IMHO, need to get off their high horses, stop worshiping words and start doing God's will FOR REAL....even if this undermines their business model. Otherwise, they are intruding in the relationship between God and man for self-aggrandizement.
The tragedy of the coming Tribulation is that Christ ultimately needs to be saved from "christianity".
From Carter Heyward's Saving Jesus From Those Who Are Right:
Lifting JESUS up above us, giving him an authority over us that he didn't ask for and cannot bear, we miss the point of his life, of our lives, and of the life of God.
Don't be surprised by the human form "Christ" takes. "I Am Who I Am" for the sake of bringing the world together as one in love. (Which is utterly humiliating....by definition since love is not self-important.)
Some clinging to their naive notions of "God" and "Christianity" may find this blog offensive. Well, if my message upsets your "faith", then I dare say your faith is misplaced. The truth is that I've not returned for any sort of exclusive, holier-than-thou group of "believers" like the "700 Club" or Catholics or Mormons or whomever; I'm here to save all of mankind from Evil to the extent possible. For creatures, God's meaning is AGAPE, universal unconditional love, in whatever form that takes at any given point in the Creation. What's more, my role is not subject to your personal approval or popular mandate, even if victory (the meaning of my name) is dependent on your participation in God's mission for us. I was born into this and I will do God's bidding regardless of what I'm supposed to believe or who I'm supposed to be according to others. "The Truth" is irreconcilable with those who want to believe self-important lies. Love is not self-important and neither am I, as contra-dictory as all this may seem.
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and he who humbles himself will be exalted."