Defining Christianity


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Defining Christianity
Comments by Mike Shaw - 3 Nov 2009

Hi, Betty,

Yes, my research of many decades indicates that the teachings of Christ are different from that of Paul. What many Bible and Christian scholars, up until now, have failed to see, is the enormous amount of religious changes that were taking place at the time of Christ and Paul. Both Christ and Paul were teaching new ideas. There is NO doubt in my mind, based on the writings of the Early Church Fathers, that Jesus and the Apostles were vegetarian... Paul was against this.. though an extra-Biblical text states that later in his life he did receive a vision from Christ, in which Christ told Paul to stop eating meat.

Paul had some great insights into human nature and how we grow spiritually, however, Paul was VERY short sighted when it came to compassion towards animals. His views on why oxen were to be allowed to eat, were those that benefitted humans and not the animal.... yet, even the Jewish scholars know that the Hebrew text that Paul was referring to, was meant to be for the benefit of the animal and not humans.

We cannot bring back an Ebionite religion. Some on the net claim to be, but are into all kinds of Mosaic Laws, which the Ebionite were NOT into. The Ebionites actually came out of the whole Enochic Judaism movement which was anti-Mosaic, and hence, anti-animal sacrifice etc... Others today make great claims as to why they are the true Ebionites... I want nothing to do with any of them.

Rather than look back to the Ebionites, I believe it is more important to take a lesson from people like George McDonald and Hans Denck, a Mennonite Mystic who said the Bible was great, but it was NOT the living Christ, rather, the Bible points to the Living Christ, who comes to dwell in the hearts of those who are open to the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must NOT get caught up in making a bunch of paper, bound between the leather covers of our Bibles, a God. The Bible is NOT God and not even the living word of God. Rather, the Bible is a collection of semi-historical, semi-instructional, semi-mythological stories that point our hearts into the direction of the Living God.

If we really make room in our hearts for Christ, the true Christ, who is Love, then we can not help but see BEYOND the teachings of St. Paul, and embrace all of creation in love and fellowship...

take care,

Mike S.