Our Christian religion was created by men. Because this statement is pointing out the obvious, it might seem unnecessary to include
it here. However, it is possible that it needs to be clearly stated at the outset of our journey into the truth about Jesus
Christ. Jesus Christ did not write a single word of print, and in all gospel accounts, we will not find any examples of Jesus Christ issuing creeds and doctrines. Men
are solely responsible for the creation of church creeds, doctrines and dogmas. If our Christian religion is failing to have
a positive impact upon our society, it is because the Christian religion ignored the most important element in the teachings
of Jesus Christ. In their creation of church doctrine and dogma, the early Church was unwilling to emphasize the love and
compassion as found in the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ spent His life teaching a ministry of love and forgiveness.
If the message of love is absent from our church’s doctrines and dogmas, we need to study the history of our Christian
institutions so that we may better understand the reasons for this omission. If individuals, who consider themselves Christians,
are unable to express unconditional love and compassion for all living creatures, we need to understand the reasons for this
We are now experiencing the introduction of many so-called Christian beliefs
and values into our everyday life. These beliefs and values are being introduced into our politics and culture. Therefore,
they are affecting us in our everyday life. Through the process of government legislation, these religious beliefs are being
instituted by so-called political action groups that claim to reflect true Christian values. These so-called Christian groups
are fervently attempting to change our society by exerting powerful influence on our elected officials and on our governmental
policies. We need to know if these beliefs and values are really consistent with what Jesus of Nazareth taught. We also need
to understand why the early church leaders were unable to capture the truth as expressed in the words of Jesus Christ. And
the best method for conducting our investigation is to re-visit the actual words of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Christian
gospels, both canonical and non-canonical gospels. We must learn to extricate our thinking from all preconceived notions and
However, it is with a certain degree of trepidation that I write a book about the ministry of Jesus
Christ and His spiritual message for humanity. Undertaking this journey is, indeed, fraught with many perils for both myself
and the reader. But I feel it is worth the risk for us to re-examine the message of Jesus Christ, especially as it relates
to our current societal problems. If we are willing to honestly open our eyes and take a penetrating look at our world, we
shall immediately discern the importance of how an understanding of a message of hope, love and compassion, as in the message
taught by Jesus Christ, will be our only salvation. We live in a world beset by many problems, and most of these problems
are of our own creation. If we have created these problems, we can solve them. And the message of Christ offers us the solution
we need for improving our human condition by providing us with the instructions for the spiritual development of humanity.
His teaching is both spiritual and practical. But if we are to understand what Jesus Christ was—and
is—teaching us, we will need to take a new and courageous look at what His message really means for us today. In our
renewed pursuit to understand His message, we shall strive to extricate our thinking from the orthodoxy that permeates conventional
thinking about the message of Jesus Christ. Long before men
created the Christian creeds and doctrines of the early church, the man known to us as Jesus of Nazareth lived amongst the
people of His day. His mission was to teach a ministry of love without judgment and condemnation. In reading the gospels,
we will not find any examples of Jesus Christ creating the creeds and doctrines that are now central to the Christian theology
practiced by our modern Christian institutions. There is no condemnation in the message of Jesus Christ. The spiritual message
of Christ is all about unconditional love, and this love is all inclusive. This is the love that the Creator (God) has for
man—and this divine love was made manifest by the appearance of the Christ Spirit in our human (physical) world. Unfortunately,
by focusing on the creation of doctrine and dogma, our Christian institutions are missing the essential message of love and
compassion as found in the actual message of Jesus Christ.
This current work constitutes a major revision to my previous book, How The Churches Got It Wrong.
In this new book, I have
pursued the same basic premise, but I have revised every chapter by changing the structure and by adding new material. I was
able to learn much in writing my previous book. For one thing, I have learned that I must be very careful in choosing a title.
The title must reflect the essence of the book, but I must be careful not to turn people away by what I have chosen. For this
current work, I have chosen the provocative title, Christianity or Churchianity: Finding The Lost Message Of Christ, in the hope that we may learn about a message of Love,
and how this message will transform our life. Unfortunately, institutional Christianity has been unable to capture the message
of unconditional love as taught by Jesus Christ. Consequently, our Christian institutions have been unable to exert
a significant impact upon the prevention of man’s inhumanity to man. In fact, some of these institutions have been the
source of brutally inhumane behavior.
We will witness this omission of unconditional love—as reflected in
our need to settle our international differences by fomenting the many wars fought throughout the centuries—all around
us. This same lack of love is also seen in our pervasive famines and worldwide poverty. Contrary to manifesting a message
of love, we have seen some of the greatest examples of moral transgressions in countries that claim to be Christian societies.
It is very sad to think that most of our Christian institutions are ostracizing those who live with alternative lifestyles
based on their gender and sexual preferences. Where is the inclusion of love as taught by Jesus of Nazareth? These Christian
institutions are unwilling to follow the examples set by Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John, it clearly states that judgment
and condemnation are unacceptable behaviors: “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that
the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:17)
In addition, the Roman Church, which held sway over the western world for
about fifteen-hundred years, has been one of the most persistent violators of the principles espoused by Jesus Christ. In
seeking to establish their ecclesiastical authority over all other societal institutions, the Roman Church ignored the simple
words of love and compassion spoken by the man from Galilee. And this very same omission of love and compassion, as found
in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has also occurred in the other Christian institutions such as in the Protestant and Evangelical
movements. Because of the greed and corruption in the Roman Church, the Protestants would separate from the Church of Rome
during the sixteenth century, but, unfortunately, they would also carry out their own brutal policy of torture and subjugation.
When it comes to our need to create a Christian institution, it appears that the goal of unconditional love and compassion
for all, as expressed in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, is conspicuously absent.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about how we are to love God and love one another.
It is a message of peace, hope and love and, as such, it is not
a message of judgment and condemnation. But the early Church opted for the creation of institutional authority and worldly
power. The early Church leaders would literally go from being persecuted to being the persecutors. Consequently, the message
of love taught by Jesus of Nazareth has been unable to take root in our society. By writing this book, I sincerely hope that
I will, in some small measure, assist in correcting this egregious error. Mohandas Gandhi once asked why Christians “are
so unlike your Christ?” To find a reasonable answer to his query, we will need to make a thorough investigation into
the institutions that claim to espouse the message of Jesus Christ. Because our Christian institutions have overlooked the
message of love and compassion in their distorted interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will need to search for
the truth that has been buried under verbal abstractions.
Our Christian institutions have been mainly interested in material acquisition,
instead of the salvation of humanity through unconditional love. Unfortunately, their distortions have significantly influenced
our perceptions of Christianity. In their misguided efforts, these institutions have created belief systems that most people
believe are antagonistic to their lifestyle. If ever a spiritual journey was needed, it is now that we should undertake our
most important journey. It will be our spiritual journey to discover the truth about our human existence as taught by Jesus
Christ and others. While traveling on our journey, we shall also learn how we can begin to develop our love for all our brothers
I would also hasten to add that my understanding of the Christ message, as
expressed in this book, is not a new understanding. The message of Christ was a new Gospel for humanity at the time when Jesus
Christ expressed it two thousand years ago. Since the time of Jesus Christ, there have been various individuals who have made
great progress in understanding His message—and this understanding will form the basis for this book. Unfortunately,
their voices have been unable to rise above the din of orthodoxy. I am not quite sure why I think this current work will fare
any better, but with the many problems we are now experiencing, I feel the time is right for us to re-visit the message that
Jesus Christ brought to earth. My extensive research into the history of Christianity and my background in the formal academic
studies of world religions, psychology and philosophy has provided me with a unique ability to offer a comparative view of
Christian theology. I have spent a number of years in the pursuit of understanding the history and development of Christian
theology—and I have studied the various philosophical schools that have exerted their influence on the development of
Christianity such as Platonism. As a matter of fact, a few of the Church Fathers, including Saint Augustine and Origen, were
avid students of Plato’s philosophy, which would have a major influence on their views about the message of Jesus Christ.
The message of Christ offers us the truth we need for our tumultuous times, but this truth has been
largely ignored and, subsequently, lost. If we are to pursue our spiritual development, our materialistic pursuits must eventually
be supplanted by spiritual learning, and the message of Jesus Christ provides us with the instructions for learning the spiritual
purpose for our human existence. While our technological gadgets provide us with a false sense of security, our souls languish
in a place of spiritual desolation. And with technology about to overtake our humanity, we must at last return to our true
purpose: the care and development of our spiritual being. My sincere desire is for this book to be of assistance to all seekers
who are interested in finding the spiritual path to truth. I wrote this book so that we could search for the truth as we journey
together. In the final analysis, only the person who is willing to take this journey will be in the position to render their
judgment on how helpful this book has been for seeking truth in his or her life.
First and foremost, this is a philosophical book about unconditional love.
In our journey, we will explore the unlimited potential of having a loving attitude, as expressed in the message of Jesus
Christ. As most of us know, Jesus Christ never wrote down a single word of His message, and he did not create the Christian
theology now practiced by most Christians. In addition, the Christian Gospels were written many decades after His death. The
narrative contained within the gospels was originally passed on in the oral tradition until it was expressed on the written
page many years after the death of Jesus Christ and the death of His Disciples. As such, we may not conclude that the gospels
are infallible. The gospel accounts are not eye-witness accounts. They are not historical accounts. They are statements of
faith. However, these accounts of Jesus Christ are all we have to go on. They do provide us with a second-hand account of
His life and His message, and they will help us in understanding His ministry of love. And, also, because of a discovery in
the twentieth century, we will now be able to utilize other Christian Gospels for our understanding of His ministry. These
Christian Gospels are a wealth of new information, but they were excluded from the New Testament Bible Canon for reasons we
shall explore later in our journey.
With these recently found Christian Gospels and the New Testament
Gospels, we will be able to glean the essence in the message that Jesus of Nazareth was disseminating to the people. And these
books will provide us with a substantial understanding of His love-based ministry. As we shall see, the central theme in all
the gospels is a message of love: loving God and loving one another. There are no examples or quotes in which we will find
Jesus Christ creating church doctrines or dogma. It was the early Church leaders who performed the task of creating our Christian
theology, and this task was completed many years after the death of Jesus Christ. In so doing, these men laid down the foundation
for modern Christianity. We will explore how the Christian theology was created by the early church leaders at councils convened
by Roman Emperors. We shall learn how the politics of power and personality played a central role in the formulation of doctrine
Although the central theme in the message of Jesus Christ is all
about love, we will need to develop a new understanding of how Jesus Christ envisioned the concept of love. There is probably
no concept that has greater misunderstanding than the concept of Love. In our journey, we will obtain an understanding of
how the word love is used in the gospels. To do this, we will investigate the language used in writing the New Testament,
specifically the New Testament Gospels.
Originally written in Greek, the New Testament writers actually used three
different Greek words for the concept of love, and their usage depends on the context in which these words are found. Most
of our English translations use the single English word “love” in translating the Greek words used for love in
the Biblical Gospels. In the gospels, the most common Greek word used for love, which has been translated as our English word
love, is the Greek word “agape.” In understanding the message of love in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, it
will be important to understand the meaning of the Greek term “agape.” Agape is the highest form of love. It is
unconditional and self-sacrificing love for a person or object because we realize this person or object is very precious to
us. Agape is unselfish and unconditional love, and its meaning is nearer in meaning to our English word altruism.
The type of love alluded to by Jesus of Nazareth is the highest expression of love. To a certain
degree, the love expressed by Jesus Christ cannot be defined. It is the love that characterizes God’s relationship with
humanity, and like the concept of God, it is an inexpressible idea. The meaning of love, as used by Jesus Christ in his Gospel
of Truth, also has a dynamic nature to it. Our ability to understand this kind of love will evolve as we evolve. The potential
for this kind of love (agape) is unlimited. When true Christianity is founded on this quality of love, we will have no need
for anything else because this love is the Power of God. This will be Christianity without any creeds or doctrines, only love
will prevail. This belief in the power of love reminds me of the John Lennon song Imagine: “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” In the journey that we are about
to undertake, it will be our goal to travel as far as possible in comprehending the ultimate expression of love. We will have
no need for doctrines or creeds. It is my sincere hope that we will realize our goal of finding God’s Love. Consequentially,
we will find a deeper spiritual basis for living together and for loving one another.