There is a sin among a large segment of the Christian clergy that I find despicable. It is the sin of omission, the sin of silence. It is the sin of promoting falsehoods in order to hold your job. It is the sin of not sharing with a congregation what you know to be true about the bible and Christianity.
Those graduating in religious studies from every major university in America, as well as every major theological seminary that is independent of Christian financial pressure, know certain facts to be true.
They know that:
- The entire bible is saturated with common mythological themes, from the creation and flood myth to virgin birth and resurrected hero mythology.
- The stories of the patriarchs in the Old Testament are known as ‘temple legends’ to enhance the history of the Hebrew people and are mostly fictional.
- The gospels were not written by anyone who knew Jesus personally.
- The ‘Christ’ myths and formulas are direct copies of Zoroastrian myths adopted by the Jesus sect.
- These facts, with others, have been known for years, and taught by internationally respected scholars from major universities world wide.
Religiously educated clergy, through the sin of omission and silence, yet continue to promote superstition.
I lost count of the ministerial colleagues, in both the Presbyterian and Congregational churches, who said to me: “For God’s sake, Edelen … forget what you learned in seminary … just play the game … you get big churches that way.”
A woman in my Idaho church met me in the parking lot one day and said: “I don’t care what you learned in seminary. I give more money than anyone in this church and I want to hear about my sweet Jesus or I’m leaving this church.” I said to her: “Well, good-bye”, and with that, she slapped me so hard across the face you could hear it for a mile… in Christian ‘love’, no doubt.
The much-loved Senior Minister of the famed City Temple of London, Leslie Weatherhead, wrote: “Not for much longer will the world put up with the lies, distortions and superstitions about Jesus and the bible.”
My friend, Dr. Gerald Larue, distinguished professor emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Southern California said this: “For clergy who do not know any better, it is simple gross ignorance. For clergy who do know better, it is a disgrace.”
For those who know better and yet have chosen, through the sin of omission and silence, to promote falsehoods, I chose the word ‘despicable’ to define them.
I know of no more accurate word to define those who have been ordained to bring light … to the human spirit … to bring light to those “who would keep abreast of the truth.”