Surprise, surprise! Adam and Eve never existed!

Surprise, surprise, Adam and Eve never existed! Who says so? No less than the leader of the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, ‘G-d’s representative on Earth’ – the Pope.

Scholars have known for over 200 years that most of the Bible stories are myths, that even the accounts of historical events were written hundreds of years later and contain many inaccuracies. Even the official Gospels, on which the Christian faith depends, have no contemporary written or archaeological evidence (outside the New Testament) to verify them. Surely a man who attracted huge crowds, performed miracles and rose from the dead would have attracted some comment from the Greek, Roman and Jewish authors of the time?

Evenso, for centuries the mainstream churches have doggedly stuck to their guns in the face of the increasing evidence that the very basis of their religion is deeply flawed. In a nutshell, they believe Yeshua came to save humanity from the effects of sin, and G-d’s reaction to sin could be traced right back through the Hebrew Scriptures to the very first humans, Adam and Eve, who wickedly ate fruit from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. This seemingly innocent action led to them being expelled from the Garden.

If there were no Adam and Eve, there was also no ‘fall of man’, and no need for the ‘son of G-d’ to come to Earth!

 

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Now enter the debate Pope Francis l, Time Magazine’s Man of the Year 2013. In a speech in December 2013, ‘His Holiness’ claims that ‘Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace.’

The Pope continued: ‘Like the fable (my italics) of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.’

As welcome as this is, there are many more fables in both the New and Old Testaments that could be similarly refined – the first creation story in Genesis (which the Adam and Eve story blatantly contradicts), Noah’s flood, Abraham’s almost-sacrifice of his son Isaac, the Hebrews’ enslavement in and eventual escape from Egypt (there is no historical or archaeological evidence for either) led by Moses (he probably didn’t exist either), the fall of Jericho (likewise), Jonah and the whale, Job, Daniel in the lions’ den, Yeshua’s fictitious birth in Bethlehem, his 40 day temptation in the wilderness, burial and resurrection, and Acts’ version of Paul of Tarsus’ vision on the road to Damascus – and these are just for starters.

For the truth is, most of the Bible has no more basis in fact than the stories of Robin Hood, King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes or James Bond!

Soon after his election, Pope Francis inaugurated a series of discussions of long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas, aimed at redefining Catholicism as a ‘modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes… We must recognize that religious truth evolves and changes. Truth is not absolute or set in stone.’

Then he dropped a few more bombshells: ‘The Bible is a beautiful holy book, but like all great and ancient works, some passages are outdated. Some even call for intolerance or judgement. The time has come to see these verses as later interpolations, contrary to the message of love and truth, which otherwise radiates through scripture.’

Needless to say, Pope Francis’ latest declarations don’t carry the support of everyone in the Catholic Church. Some cardinals are said to be against them, and this is doubtless the case lower down the hierarchy too. One wonders what his predecessor makes of them.

But the most hysterical condemnations have come from that bastion of free speech, the internet. Some critics have suggested he’s off his rocker (he’s off his rocker?!!!) and others that he’s the antichrist forecast in the Book of Revelations, sent as a precursor to the end of time and judgement day.

The Catholic Church has always been behind the times, suspicious of new knowledge and anything which contradicts ancient or existing doctrine, so the Pope’s utterances should be universally welcomed. The fact that they haven’t been by evangelicals, apocalysts and other religious nutters should only strengthen our resolve to bring the truth out into the open.

©David Lawrence Preston, 13.1.18

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Heaven and hell: an ancient story

Some religions teach that heaven and hell are places where we go after death, but spiritual awareness reveals that this is not so: they are states of consciousness. We create them by the way we think and act.

When we align our thoughts with the highest ideas, we feel good. The body is flooded with natural opiates, endorphins, which are one hundred times stronger than morphine. This is heaven. Heaven is here every moment when we trust that good will unfold and affirm universal intelligence as the source of our happiness and support.

When we fill our minds with negative thoughts, tension rises, the bloodstream is flooded with stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin), digestion suffers, muscles tighten and we feel bad. This is hell.

You are responsible for your own heaven and hell. If you frequently find yourself in the hell state, examine your state of consciousness. What you are resisting? Are you trying to defy Universal Law? What adjustments must you make?

Here’s an ancient Oriental story which illustrates the point

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The philosopher and the king

A powerful king asked a learned philosopher to explain the meaning of heaven and hell.

‘You!’ replied the philosopher with an angry tone, ‘do you really expect me to be able to explain something so profound to a stupid, power-crazy, self-centred fool like you?’

The king was incensed. ‘Why you…’ he exploded with rage, ‘I could have you executed for this, how dare you, you…!’

‘That,’ said the philosopher, smiling, ‘is hell.’

The king took a deep breath and prostrated himself. He thanked the philosopher for his wisdom. ‘And that,’ said the latter smiling, ‘is heaven.’

Legend has it the king instantly became enlightened.

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 21.11.2016

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