Note: This post is aimed at Christianity as a religion, not Christians.
It seems I’m back sooner than I thought. Not much happened, but it was a decent Christmas nonetheless. Anyhow…
I never really liked Christianity, you could tell from my posts. I am aware of all that stuff about love they neighbour as you would love thyself, only that’s just a layer. Just so you know this has nothing to do with my view of the Biblical god. Tear away the layers of Christianity’s image as a compassionate institution, or even an institution politically involved in preserving the status quo (something that Jesus would actually decry for reasons that will become apparent later on), and you’ll know it’s original form.
Jesus was famous (or infamous from the point of view of the Romans, Pharisees, and some Jews in Ancient Rome) for his subversiveness in Ancient Rome (which I could probably admire). What was he preaching? Oh, the end of time, and that, according to him, it was imminent.
Before Christianity even started, Jesus was a Jewish man preaching about a new “kingdom of God”, and that god would one day save his people at the end of the “wicked” world if they repent. Naturally, the Romans didn’t like his presence one bit, though I can’t understand why they took him so seriously. After all, if he’s a guy preaching about end times, he’s no threat right? But then he got attention. Miracles had became attributed to him. Then the Romans, and the Pharisees after Jesus ransacked the markets and money-changers at the temple, began to see him as a threat to their authority. And then you know the story: Judas betrayed Jesus, the Romans arrested Jesus, Pilate sealed his fate, and he was crucified. But according to Christians, he was then resurrected, before zooming back into heaven until the end of time. If people saw that happening, they might believe that yes, the end was coming, and soon.
After Jesus’ death, his apostles (except Judas, who committed suicide) set out spreading the message he left behind. The message that the end was nigh and that if people repented and rejected the pagan ways of Rome, god would save them, and that if people did not, then they would be damned for all time. This would lead to the creation of a new religious movement that set out to convert Jews and gentiles alike, which would later be called Christianity, though the Bible might have been compiled much later. Followers might expect the apocalypse to happen within a few years, or any time for that matter, they might have thought the signs were everywhere. In 66 AD, the Jews had eventually grown fed up of being under Roman rule and attempted to overthrow them in a revolt and establish independence. Four years later, this would end in the sacking of Jerusalem and its Second Temple, thus Jerusalem had returned to Roman rule. Some interpreted this as a punishment from God, perhaps for the crucifixion of Jesus, among other reasons that could prompt divine vengeance. Still, the event was so shocking that people began to believe that the apocalypse had begun, and to this day Jews commemorate the event as the fast of Tisha B’av.
Getting back to the main point, Christianity as an apocalyptic religion has always been at the core even today, with any time in history (including the Black Plague and the Great Fire of London) being believed to be the apocalypse. Hell, there was a medieval belief that witches were a sign of the apocalypse coming (thinking about it, witches can’t seem to get a break). If there is any notable difference between the Christianity of now and the Christianity of Ancient Rome, for which many followers and saints died for, is that the church these days seems to be a politically active institution, often for preserving the status quo, aside from their somewhat humanitarian image, whereas Jesus wouldn’t feel there to be much point for structure considering that he believed it would all be destroyed by the time God showed up. Otherwise, think about it: back then they must’ve waited forever for God to show up, and even today, despite the more liberal and sugar-coated interpretations and Christian messages in the modern day (mainly designed to appeal to modern times anyway), people still wait and pray that they go straight to God when they die, or when the world ends, and we have Christianity becoming the main religion of the Roman Empire to thank for us being so ingrained in its ideas.
The fact is, 2000 years on, Christianity is still the same as it always was, and that’s not something to be proud of.