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“…what had happened was…”
Its important for me to stress that while we are discussing the issue of “Corporate Christianity”, as well as those that find their way within it, objections, observations & questions surrounding the topic are not to be construed as mean-spirited sport. No one gets a cookie for making tenants of a rigged belief system feel silly, stupid, or ignorant just for the sake of it. However, since “Corporate Christianity” is a proactive, evangelistic system that often confronts the rest of us where we are, with what the marketing team alleges is the Truth, the whole Truth & nothing but the Truth; one can hardly begrudge we prospects from honestly, thoroughly, and intellectually kicking the tires on the thing. That seems only fair, if Jesus Christ™ is advertised to be the one and only vehicle we will ever need to trust our very lives as well as eternal souls with, doesn’t it? While these questions or observations will indeed come off as snarky or antagonistic to the believer who has bought the whole sale’s pitch, narrative & spiritual Novocain that is “Corporate Christianity” one would almost suspect the negative reaction to them is because of a failure, on their part to ask some of the same basic questions before “getting saved”… and that they generally stall or upturn the official narrative anyway. One of my personal favorite questions to the evangelist purporting to bring me the “good news of the bible” is “before you became a Christian, how much evidence did you see or seek to support a literal interpretation of the Bible, or did all the evidence you see or seek begin to come into your awareness after the emotional, conceptual conversion in your mind?”
Granted, when you ask this question the chances the “Corporate Christian” understands what confirmation bias is or how it works is slim. Which is why it is my practice to simply listen or occasionally ask questions with those who interpret the Bible as literal history but never argue or debate, as there simply would be no point. While there are some within the ranks of “Corporate Christianity” that attempt to reconcile the glaring differences in the historical record with the Biblical narrative as history; the vast majority of those who worship Jesus Christ™ can’t remember what happened past today’s social media newsfeed. I don’t slight the followers of Jesus Christ™ so much for being historically or contextually ADHD, as I do modern society, but in this instance the corporation is very proportionate to the rest of the world. That being said, the largest portion of “Corporate Christianity” is content to believe that the narrative they are presented with from the Bible is history. The Bible says it. They believe. That settles it. The Bible and perhaps a moderately produced “Corporate Christian” made for television mini-series. That too they will accept as actual history. They live oblivious to the notion that there is a whole world, filled with artifacts, texts, temples, annuls, grimoires, military journals, memoirs, government records and etchings upon etchings in stone all over the old world that suggest actual history and the Biblical narrative are at odds.
They have some apologists within their ranks that do all that sort of thinking for them and put out this book or that book from time to time indicating a chariot was found at the bottom of a sea somewhere, therefore the Bible is actual history. For most, the thin veneer of scholarship and archeology given to them on Wednesday night Bible study is sufficient to nudge the flock away from asking serious questions about the probability that these events might have actually occurred. Show them a picture of a sandal in the desert or a coin with Caesar’s face on it and case closed! The stories in the Bible happened! It’s history! This approach to the scriptures, one of unquestioning gullibility & being an absolute lay-down when it comes to having the requirements for “proof” in a life altering decision reduced to wagon wheels in water, makes it a ripe spot for mass manipulation and control. This is another reason to avoid useless debates, as you’ll be hard up to find anyone with this mindset packing any original thoughts or ideas to debate. They willingly surrender their critical thinking and ability to process any concepts that would contradict the literal interpretation of the Bible to the “Church”. It is the “Church” that filters to them how to interpret all information that would attempt to undermine the legitimacy and authenticity of the uniform message they have presented regarding Jesus Christ™.
For the rest of us, history happened. The competing narratives of the historical record versus the narrative of the Bible are not two platters of cognitive dissonance we can simultaneously feast on within ourselves. One position claims it is correct history with little to no tangible evidence to offer outside of 66 scrolls and feelings with ample motivation to confirm those feelings. The other position claims that what we can piece together as history, best we can, must come from ample artifacts, records & archeology from a variety of sources that might give us a bird’s eye view of what probably transpired 2,000 plus years ago in the area the Bible narrative takes place in. Which makes sense, as the message “Corporate Christianity” is espousing is indeed extraordinary and as we know, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs. I mean, we are being asked to dedicate our hearts, minds, spirits, bodies & lives to a compilation of books that depict some rather fantastic events, on a moderately frequent basis, in generally well-known places, with a cast of characters generously seasoned with notable names in antiquity. Yet, digging up or discovering a site containing overwhelming and compelling evidence that the stories in the Bible are actual, literal history that happened, word for word is a very anemic endeavor thus far. I mean if we are supposed to entertain the idea that the greatest story ever told is a history book, we would expect people digging in deserts to be providing us weekly with hieroglyphics depicting or confirming, or even hinting at in the slightest, a mass exodus. There should be clear evidence of legions of Egyptian chariots littering the bottom of the Red Sea available for any inquiring eye to view. If these things happened, at some point a world power would have come forth (especially during the past 2000 years of history) to produce a magickal, golden box that could shoot laser beams & smite the heathens or infidels just by having it looked upon; pretty sure they would have done that by now. If we are expected to guide our very lives upon a personage, who if taken literally as presented, could fly, bi-locate, raise the dead, heal the blind, manifest tangible food from thin air, could perceive and control entities beyond the visible light spectrum, manipulating matter to his conscious will allowing him to defy the laws of physics among just his fewer feats – is it so much to ask for a chair he hobbled together in a museum? Could you produce, maybe, a table he made or even something he wrote? Like wrote down, himself? Clearly, he was highly intelligent, though impoverished & unquestionably literate, well beyond his contemporaries…one would think the guy would’ve kept a diary or something? No? Didn’t think so. That’s convenient.
On the other hand, physical, tangible, and unbiased swarms of evidence appear regularly that at best, suggest that though the Bible contains history within its narrative, its narrative being history as written is highly improbable. At worst, the narrative of the Bible is a contrived, Frankenstein, patchwork, propaganda piece designed by the state as a means of control for conquest and crusades! Gotta love those crusades! Spreadin’ the love of Jesus Christ™ through the steel of a sword whether you like it or not. What I mean to say is this, when looking at this issue with an unbiased eye, considering the evidence provided for one side or the other being more likely; the narrative of the Bible being literal history or not at all, it is apparent which side produces more fruit. Simply put, the historical record stands in stark opposition to the alleged historicity of the Bible’s narrative as written, with plenty of proofs in hand. The position that one can take the narrative of the Bible, from one cover to the other, as literal history, word for word, deed by deed, day for day, jot for jot, tittle for tittle is most certainly faith, because baby; the facts for that whopper are slim to none. And I get it. That is faith…after all. And what is faith? Faith is not knowing a thing.
Either the narrative of the Bible is literal history or its not. No one disagrees the Bible contains history and is a product of history, but the evidence has consistently shown that if its story is supposed to be taken as literal history it must be the history from an Earth located in a parallel dimension of the Uber-verse because it didn’t happen here. For “Corporate Christianity” to continue insisting that the text of the Bible is to be taken literally and as literal history, considering all the evidence from a swath of academic fields that show otherwise, is the magnum opus in the art of gaslighting. To boldly stand declaring “these things actually happened” when the evidence shows that they couldn’t have, is a brazen attempt to create crazy-making, doubts about what reality is. Afterall, when one cannot recall history, they are doomed to do a loop de loop on its tracks and let us not forget that gaslighting is yet another trait “Corporate Christianity” shares with the creature, narcissist, also. When a victim of either cannot ground themselves in some type of reality, away from the shared fantasy this whole thing has them caught up in, seeing the situation they are in from a keener point of observation just cannot happen. Gaslighting is a system in which a victim is constantly having their reality rewritten by the predator and perpetually being told or shown that there is something fundamentally wrong with them.
Insisting the story of the Bible is actual history of the past as well as the future in a literal way keeps the victims of “Corporate Christianity” in reality limbo, unable to be grounded in any Truth, other than what the “Church” deems to be so. These regular doses of rewriting actual history are also served with hefty portions of oh, and by the way, youre a filthy sinner that god had to murder himself to save. If this is not gaslighting, do tell what is. And what is the goal of gaslighting? It is for the predator to control the narrative and maintain psychological domination over the prey. How many red flags from this “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ™ are going up the polls before alarms go off? Either the Bible is a history book, which implies a whole lot of things, or it isn’t which certainly implies a whole lot of other things.
To be continued…