Part of the Christianity Myth
Chritianity is a huge and persistent myth, yet it is also a myth that is in decline and perhaps on the verge of collapse. The biggest problem that Christianity faces is that even its adherents don’t actually believe it. They believe in something but what that is would not typically be recognisable to the original followers of Christ. If you take one of the disciples at the time of the ministry of Jesus and transport them to a modern Christian Church I can’t think of a single thing in the form of worship that would alert them to the fact that it was anything to do with them. So you could be reading from the book of Mark for instance and Mark wouldn’t see any connection. Of course if he knew the language he would soon see the connection, but the form of worship would be completely foreign to him.
Contrast this with Islam and Buddhism where the current form of worship would presumably be somewhat recognisable to its original adherents.
The changing of the forms of worship originally had the effect of opening up the religion to a vast group of new adherents, but it now faces the problem that the original texts as written are hopelessly inappropriate for the lives of those adherents.
One of the effects of this disconnect is that Christians don’t actually believe in Christianity, much less Jesus. What they typically do believe in is certain moral lessons drawn from the teachings of Jesus, but without an intimate connection to Jesus’s way of life itself. The modern Christian wouldn’t like to become a disciple of the original Jesus and those disciples wouldn’t find the modern Christian acceptable adherents of the faith.
Imagine for instance if the typical modern Christian in the United States was given the opportunity to take a one way trip into the past to the time of Jesus’s ministry. It should be the case that every person who says they are Christian leaps at the chance of such a thing. After all, being around Jesus ‘the actual son of God’ is what it’s all about. What could be better than that?
It is also possible that if the offer was made, a good proportion of so called “Christians” might think that they had to accept the offer, but once transported to ancient Judea would find that they didn’t like the situation there very much.
Can you imagine your typical pastor or priest walking around ancient Judea after Jesus? Where would they get food and medicine? Oh, well that wouldn’t be a problem right – Jesus would feed them and heal them! More likely the local people would stone these weird barbarians to death.
They wouldn’t know the language Aramaic, the language Jesus likely spoke day to day nor would they know Koine Greek, the language the New testament was written in. So they couldn’t communicate with Jesus or his disciples. Roman Latin would be much more familiar to the average person, but that was the language of Jesus’s enemies at the time.
Even if they could learn the language of Jesus (which of course only the tiniest portion of president day ‘Christians’ bother to do) life would be very difficult for any modern person around Jesus. It would be much more attractive to the modern person to live in the more ordered Roman world, and that would be invariably where they would migrate whether they liked it of not.
Jesus is nice in theory but if you had to meet him and deal with him it would be exceedingly difficult for people not acquainted with the ancient Judean culture and norms.
It’s a bit like a teenage fan from a affluent background catching up their rock idols. It’s something they might find they want to idolise from a distance.
“Never meet your idols” is a phrase that would be suitable for Christians in relation to Jesus.
I should add as a disclaimer that I would very much hope that Christians don’t bother trying to purify their myth of its glaring inconsistencies as stated. Doing so would create something much worse than even the Amish. But I don’t have to worry about that too much since – they won’t!