Friday, April 07, 2006

They just can't leave Holy Week be

"Altarpiece of the Lamentation"
CLEVE, Joos van
(b. 1485, Antwerpen, d. 1540, Antwerpen)

Holy Week is upon us and so it is the time for editors of the mainstream media to seek out a good story that undermines traditional orthodox Christianity. In some years we get updates on the Jesus Seminar showing yet again how little of the Gospel stories are scientifically accurate and how much the biblical gospel writers embellished the truth. (a little projection here folks?)

In other years they publish stories about stories, like Dan Brown's bestseller the Da Vinci Code, which purports to be a thriller based upon Church history. Jesus did not die on the cross, married Mary Magdalen, had a passel of kids, and by the way the Vatican has been murdering and covering up the real story for two bloody millennia. Thank God that the truth is finally revealed.

This year we have the gospel of Judas to entertain the flock. I suppose it will supplant the Da Vinci Code stories, to a point. In case you haven't heard, the gospel of Judas (apparently authentic) is an ancient gospel discovered in the 1970s and recently translated. National Geographic has a story on it. My quotes below are from the New York Times.

I read the gospel yesterday. In my view, the language, the theology, and the spirit of the text is not compatible with the four gospels of the Bible. For instance, Judas is viewed in this text as liberating Jesus from his flesh in order to allow his (Jesus')true (divine) spirit to emerge. We Catholics and Orthodox Christians have insisted from the beginning that Christ was true God and true man. No wonder Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons, condemned this gospel in 180 AD.

I find Professor Karen King's comments in the New York Times article interesting.

"You can see how early Christians could say, if Jesus' death was all part of God's plan, then Judas's betrayal was part of God's plan," said Ms. King, the author of several books on the Gospel of Mary. "So what does that make Judas? Is he the betrayer, or the facilitator of salvation, the guy who makes the crucifixion possible?"

Here you can see the nexus between liberal Christian theology and contemporary secular liberal death cultists, i.e., if everything is part of God's plan, and God does nothing evil, then evil does not exist.

The Church says something quite different. We are all responsible for the crucifixion, not through our virtue, but because of our sin. The good is with God, not with Judas, or with us.

"Elaine Pagels, a professor of religion at Princeton who specializes in studies of the Gnostics, said in a statement, "These discoveries are exploding the myth of a monolithic religion, and demonstrating how diverse - and fascinating - the early Christian movement really was."

Myth of a monolithic religion??? This is rubbish of the first order. Anyone who has taken an introductory course in the history of the Church will know ancient Christianity was rent by multiple and continual struggles between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. The great councils of the Church were called to address these struggles and settle doctrinal disputes.

I think she puts forward a spurious monolithic myth in order to undermine Catholic assertions of doctrinal continuity. Of course there were different views in the days of the early Church. There was also a magisterial authority (the Apostles and their successors the bishops) to sort it out and the Judas gospel got sorted out the door.

Judas as the hero, the "facilitator of salvation." What a monstrous concept. By this inverted logic Hitler should be seen as the admired facilitator of modern German democracy.

I note the same sort of liberal Christians who look approvingly upon this obviously Gnostic (It is not Christian) text mock the Catholic Marian doctrines. A diversity of views is good apparently, unless it threatens to embrace the rosary. Did I say rosary? How embarrassing. Good thing this blog isn't a dinner party. Everyone would be aghast then.

Me? If I'm looking for a facilitator of my salvation, I'll avoid Mr. Iscariot and the latter day Gnostics and stick with the Mother of God. She's much better connected to that Jesus fellow. Christ may not be a facilitator, but he is a merciful judge and Saviour and his mother has a much better record than Judas Iscariot. Despite the lyrics of the M.A.S.H. theme song, suicide is not necessarily painless.

Before you judge my scribbling as complete gibberish, read the Gospel of John and then the gospel of Judas. The gospel that is truly gibberish becomes quite apparent. But modern Gnostics are no doubt partying. Just remember the salient point. However interesting the manuscript, and it is that, Gnostics are Gnostics and Christians they ain't.

Dominus vobiscum.


At 5:16 pm, April 09, 2006 , Blogger maharal said...

Ah, Antwerp...
nice blog,

At 8:37 am, April 10, 2006 , Blogger Kateland, aka TZH said...

I read Brown's book way back when it was released because, well, I have a tendancy to read just about anything that passes my view. I was later floored by the success of this book. Frankly, it struck me than and now, as a one of the most blantant examples of bigotry and hatemongering that I have seen published in the last 60 years. I had to ask myself if he was trying to win election as the grand wizard of the KKK.


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