Friday, December 30, 2011

Deanne Shallenberger (Glenn) - Homeward Bound

Deanne Glenn's new single "Homeward Bound" 

"Lyrics by Joshua Shallenberger Purchase the hit single "Homeward Bound" as heard on Hebrew Nation Radio: A passionate cry to Yahweh to return to the covenant so that the nations might be restored as His people (Israel) once again."


The authors of the Christian scriptures describe the
development of the early church in the following manner.
Jesus was a Jewish man, who lived in the land of Israel. When
he was about thirty years old, he began to travel throughout the
country. For about three years, Jesus traveled and taught. By
the time Jesus died, he had created a small following. All of
his followers were Jews. Prominent among Jesus’s followers
were his twelve disciples. These disciples formed a
community with its center in Jerusalem. The community of
Jesus’s followers was lead by James, a brother of Jesus. This
community is referred to as the “Jerusalem Church”. In the
years following Jesus’s death, the Jerusalem Church grew in
size. At one point, the authors of Christian scriptures claim
that they numbered several thousand. But the members of this
church were all Jews.

Christianity reached the non-Jewish world through the
person of Paul. Paul traveled the length and breadth of the
Mediterranean, teaching the gentile world about Jesus. Paul
founded many churches throughout the Roman Empire. The
churches which Paul established were predominantly gentile.
The Christian scriptures end their narrative at this point.
They leave the reader at the historical point where there are
two churches; the Jewish church of James, and the gentile
church of Paul.

History tells us that the Jewish church of James did not
survive as a separate entity. By the time Christianity became
the established religion of the Roman Empire, there were
almost no Jewish Christians left. The few Jewish Christians
which still existed, were persecuted as heretics by the gentile
church. All of Christianity as it exists today, was transmitted
through the body of the gentile church. The books of Christian
scripture were products of the gentile church. They may have
included in these books, material which came from the Jewish
Christians. But the gentile church was the editor of this
material. It was the gentile church who determined the
contents of the Christian scriptures, and who transmitted these
texts to the future generations.

In order to be convinced that the gentile church is truly
transmitting the original message of Jesus, one must determine
that Paul’s teachings conformed with the teachings of Jesus.
The gentile church only learned of Jesus through the teachings
of Paul. If Paul’s teachings were not synonymous with the
teachings of Jesus, then the gentile church does not possess the
original message of Jesus.
To determine Paul’s connection to Jesus, we will turn to the
books of Christian scripture. It is clear that the editors of these
books were strongly motivated to present Paul as one who is
faithfully transmitting the original message of Jesus. Yet even
these biased writers, were not able to do so.

The Christian scriptures describe the basis of Paul’s mission
in the following manner. Paul never saw Jesus in real life.
Neither did Paul learn of Jesus’s teachings through the
disciples of Jesus. Paul emphatically states (in the 1st and 2nd
chapters of Galatians) that no living person was involved in
transmitting Jesus’s message to him. Paul only learned of the
teachings of Jesus through a series of visions. In these visions,
Jesus appeared to him and imparted his teachings. Paul’s
entire message was the product of these visions.

The only way we can verify the truth of Paul’s claim, is by
determining the reaction of Jesus’s disciples to Paul’s
message. These men who lived with Jesus and heard him
teach, could compare the teachings that they heard, to the
prophecy of Paul. How did the Jewish following of James
react to Paul’s claim to prophecy?

Paul makes the claim (Galatians 2:9) that the leaders of the
Jerusalem Church acknowledged the fact that he was
appointed (by the dead Jesus) as a messenger to the gentiles.
But Paul was lying. James and the Jerusalem Church never
acknowledged the validity of Paul’s visions. It is the Christian
scriptures themselves who contradict Paul’s claim.

The 15th chapter of the book of Acts, describes how the
leadership of the Jerusalem Church disregarded Paul’s claim
to prophecy. Paul had come to Jerusalem. He had been
preaching to the gentiles that they are not required to practice
the law of Moses. Some members of the Jerusalem Church
disagreed with Paul. They felt that in order for a gentile to join
their following, he should be required to observe the law of
Moses. This question was brought before the leadership of the
Jerusalem Church. The elders of the church discussed the
question, and James handed down his decision. His judgment
was that the gentiles were not obligated to observe the entirety
of the law of Moses as a prerequisite to joining the Christian
community. But he stipulated that the gentiles were obligated
to observe certain dietary laws, and to avoid immorality.

If Paul was telling us the truth when he claimed that the
leadership of the Jerusalem Church acknowledged him as a
true prophet, then this story makes no sense. Here we have
Paul, who was personally appointed by the dead Jesus as his
emissary to the gentile world. Whatever Paul taught was
personally revealed to him in these prophetic visions. One of
the central teachings of Paul was that the gentile world is not
bound by the law of Moses. Yet when the leaders of the
Jerusalem Church are in doubt as to what Jesus would have
said concerning the gentiles, they discuss the question, and
look to James for guidance. If there was any truth to Paul’s
claim, that these leaders acknowledged the truth of his
prophecy, then they should have simply asked him “what did
Jesus tell you?” The fact that they considered the question, and
the method that they used to resolve the question, clearly tells
us that these men did not believe that Jesus had ever spoken to
Paul. The author of the book of Acts, his bias
notwithstanding, could not hide this simple fact.

The difference between the gentile church founded by Paul,
and the Jerusalem Church founded by Jesus, was not limited to
the question of the authenticity of Paul’s prophecy. These two
institutions espoused two totally different philosophies. The
central teaching of Pauline Christianity is, that faith in the
redeeming sacrifice of Jesus, is the only valid method through
which atonement for sin can be achieved. The entire
philosophy of Paul, revolves around this one teaching.
Evangelical Christianity is founded upon this basic teaching of
Paul. If you were to ask an Evangelical Christian to sum up his
belief system in one sentence, he would respond with this
point. That faith in Jesus is the only redemption from sin. In
fact the entire concept of the messiah-ship of Jesus is basically
limited to this one point. Jesus is the messiah of Evangelical
Christians, only because they believe that his death provided
atonement for sin.
But the Jerusalem Church which was established by Jesus,
and which was guided by his disciples, did not believe in this
teaching of Paul. They did not believe that faith in Jesus could
effectively atone for their sins. This is demonstrated by the
testimony of the Christian scriptures. The 21st chapter in the
book of Acts reports that the normal activities of the members
of the Jerusalem Church included the offering of animals for
the explicit purpose of the expiation of sin. The book of Acts
describes how four members of the Jerusalem Church had
taken a Nazirite vow. This means that they had voluntarily
brought themselves into a situation where they would be
required (by the law of Moses) to bring an animal as a sin
offering. It is clear that these people saw in the temple
offerings a valid method for the expiation of sin. If they
believed as Paul did, that Jesus died for their sins once and for
all, then there would be no point in bringing a sin offering in
the temple. The fact that the Jerusalem Church still
participated in the temple offerings after Jesus had died, tells
us that they did not see in Jesus’s death an all atoning
sacrifice. These people were not Evangelical Christians.

The Christian scriptures provides both the theological and
the historical justification to the accusation that Christianity
has failed in the transmission of its own message. The
Christian scriptures tell us that the disciples of Jesus never
believed the fundamental teaching of Evangelical Christianity.

These people who lived with Jesus and heard him preach did
not believe, that with the death of Jesus, the world is redeemed
of its sins. The Christian scriptures also tell us, at which
historical point the break in the transmission occurred. These
books tell us that Paul, the father of modern Christianity, had
no connection to Jesus. Christianity is an edifice erected upon
the testimony of one man. All of Christianity stands upon
Paul’s word that Jesus appeared to him. The only people that
were qualified to verify Paul’s claim, contradicted him to his
face. This emerges from the pages of the very books which
Christianity regards as true witnesses to its claims.

1 comment:

  1. Can't find where to download the song "Homeward Bound" Help? LuLu is for books not music. This must be an error on the link address. Help?