Christianity supports natural selection

As Elaine Pagels mentions repeatedly in her book “The Gnostic Gospels,” Chrsitianity has itself undergone natural selection. Originally there were many, many schools of thought about the nature of Jesus (man? a god? God? a “special creation” per the Arian heresey?), God, and the church itself. But the Catholic Church became dominent because it was organized into a militarily hierarchy and it monopolized spiritual power. Thus the Gnostic churchs, which allowed their members to have there own spiritual revelations from God and were loosely organized, were easily crushed. The church became a tool of statecraft for the ailing Roman empire to prop itself up with (the cynical Constantine did not close the Pagan temples, and even offered sacrifices on a number of occations).

This is why Christianity is the most widespread religeous meme in the world. In the first few centuries of its existance it sharpened its teeth on all the varient views of Christ floating around the ancient Mediterranean.

Any rebuttals?

(PS the tragedy of the whole thang is that we will never know the real story of Jesus, who I believe tried to remove Roman oppression by fulfilling the prophecies of the Suffering Servant, etc. As a Jew, he sure didn’t claim he was God’s son, and prolly just said he was “ben Elohim,” “of the most high,” meaning sent by God, not to be taken as meaning “son of God.”
I believe Moses said the same thing, but I hain’t mastered Hebrew yet this week, so don’t quote me.)

The “selection” wasn’t natural.

From the op I thought this was going to be about how the Church had its best and brightest become celebite and leave the gene pool …

The rise of Christianity is a great meme example. It was a great fit for the needs of a Roman Empire in disarray and decline. It fostered not genes that coded for behaviors, but the adoption of an idea and an identity by those of many different gene pools (whether by voluntary or by involuntary means). Those versions of Christianity that failed to do so did not survive. Only a few concepts could compete - the strict group identity of the Jew, and the equally evangelistic Muslims, being representative.

"…Thy Will be done…"

Isn’t this just a statement of what “natural selection” means?

I disagree with your assesment of Christ. He did indeed admit He was the son of God.

Luke 22:70 (NAS)

"And they all said ‘Are you the son of God then?’ And he said to them ‘Yes, I am.’ "

As far as fulfilling prophecy, check out Psalm 22. Jesus could not have controlled all those circumstances ie. sodiers gambling for his clothes (Psalm 22:18), the jeers from the crowd as he was crucified (Psalm 22:7-8) Jesus fulfilled too many old testament prophecies to not be who he claimed. This is my 2 cents

Do you, ummm… yeahh…, believe in The Father? If so, then Who are you? Aren’t you the son of The Father–as are we all?

Did Jesus have to be saying anything more than that?

You read far too much into Luke’s passage, I suggest.

I’m not sure I undestand what you mean. Can you re-phrase? I think you are saying if we believe in “The Father” than we are all “sons of God”. But then why is that an incriminating statement on Jesus behalf? He was accused of blasephmy and admitting that you are a son as the rest of us are, would not have been blasephemous to the Pharisees. Am I understanding you correctly?

The father as in The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit?.

Yes we are all children of God, but there was only one Son of God. Remember the difference is that we are born of Man and Jesus was not born of Man. Even Satin reffered to him as The Son of God!:slight_smile:

As I recall, Jesus referred to himself as "the Son of Man. :slight_smile:

I think, Puzzle Boy, that you are nit-picking to support what you have been taught; just as I think that ummm… yeahh… was reading more into Luke than is really there.

I am most certainly not a theologian and most certainly do not want to get myself involved in a argement of theological nit-picking.

ummm… yeahh…, I merely mean that while Jesus responded “Yes” to the question “Are you the Son of God,” he had been preaching a very new view of who God was: The Father rather than a mighty tyrant Who would destroy all who violated this or that law or rule. “God the Father” we say; and “God the Father” is what Jesus taught.

All of this translated into that Jesus was claiming to be God’s Son; The Father’s son. That translated in the clerical minds of the time into blasphemy.

I contend, after two thousand years of looking at Jesus’ message, that Jesus was just saying that we are all God’s children, The Father’s children. No blasphemy; just a different and new perspective of God: As God, The Father.

Um, OK, so can you explain why He obstinately refused to clarify His real point in order to placate those enraged high priests?


So His crucifixion was all a misunderstanding. Had Christ just been a bit more eloquent He could have beaten that whole blasphemy rap.

Jesus’ own Teaching–which came, said Jesus, from Our Father–was to only say “yes” or “no” in response to questioning. Jesus had faced tricksters from the clergy before and, I suspect, that is the source of this particular teaching. It may also be the source for Jesus’ warning to take an oath about nothing; to swear by nothing, “not even the hair on your head…” :slight_smile:

One has to ask this question: Should Jesus have wanted to “beat the blasphemy rap”–as you say, Bob Cos? Wasn’t that what all the praying was about the night that Judas I. betrayed Jesus and the Apostles?

By this I mean: If the Jews, having been sent yet another great prophet, were to grind Jesus up just to save their own worthless hides, positions and wealth, should not Jesus allow such a society to convict its own self and be obliterated to History?

I would then ask you your opinion on the trinity, that is, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I respect your view and I’m not trying to say your a crackpot. But if you hold this view of Jesus than the view of the trinity must be either a) the interpretation of “the trinity” does not include the son or b) Jesus was not the Son and there is another.

To a) I would say ask for your opinion on what the trinity is. To b) I would again refer to Jesus fulfillment of old testament prophecy.

You are right in the fact that Jesus referred to himself as “the Son of Man”. There was even a time when Jesus healed a man and instucted him to not tell anyone who did it. Jesus referred to himself as “the son of Man” for a very specific reason. Jesus had a specific mission to accomplish while on earth. He knew that referring to himself as “the son of God” and not “the son of Man” was blasephemy and would be grounds to have him killed. “Son of Man” was not blasephemy for ALL of us are sons of man!! Calling himself “son of God” would have meant that Jesus could not have completed his ministry on earth. He never would have completed the miracles he did and nobody would have cared that he died. Get what I’m going for? By aknowledging himself as “the son of Man” he was talking about his human side. He was fully God and yet fully man at the same time.

When Jesus confronted demons, they called him “Son of God”. Jesus was often quick to rebuke them because he didn’t want to have to answer that question… yet. He wanted his actions to prove he was God. I believe (and this is my opinion) that this is all consistant with scripture. There is no nit-picking involved. It’s the big picture! The verse I referred to earlier was in the context of Jesus arrest. He was being questioned by the pharisees about his authority.

I really think that if you look at Jesus whole life in the gospels, it is illogical to assume that he was referring to a collective “sons of God” and not him being THE son of God. Let me know what you think!



Are you impying that Jesus was willing to accept torture and death, knowing he could save himself by clarifying “Son of God”, but was not willing to do so based on the premise that “what goes around comes around”??!!!

Why would that act have obliterated them to history if Christ wasn’t divine? Am I understanding you to suggest that Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified on a false charge of blasphemy, one He could have dispelled since He never intended to make the point that He is God, in order to show what jerks the high priest were?

Seems to me the charge that Christ had declared Himself divine (a charge that the high priests were undoubtedly making, so it’s clear how they interpreted Christ’s words) was one of two things:

  1. True, in which case Jesus was either God, a madman or a con man.

  2. False, in which case it is odd indeed that He would have accepteed a gruesome death without clarifying what it was He actually meant–a particularly curious act for a prophet and teacher.

Certainly the early Christians considered Him divine. Did they misunderstand as well?

There in the Chicago Courtroom of 70 years ago sat a judge and jury. They were trying a mobster but were willing to accept that they might be sprayed with machine-guns and tortured or killed thereby. They even convicted the mobster and left the weak security of the Courthouse and did that, too, without hesitation.

Surely what a Chicago judge and jury were willing to risk, Jesus would also be willing to face. :stuck_out_tongue:

A couple of angels walked into Sodom and got mistreated. Sodom was obliterated.

I don’t think that it requires a “divine” person for some judgment to be rendered for mistreatment. When a prophet is sent, it seems to me that one either listens to the prophet’s message or accepts that there might some unpleasant consequences. In this last sentence I was thinking of Jonah or Moses rather than Jesus.



That’s a mighty big stretch my friend. I don’t even see the correlation. The judge and jury were putting themselves in harms way to discover the truth. Jesus knew the truth. Jesus was whipped 39 times, punched, spit on, had a crown of thorns imbedded in his head, had spikes driven through his wrists and feet, hung on a cross, suffocated, and stabbed in the side with a spear. That’s not to mention the mental and verbal abuse he took. I don’t see how that at all compares to the illustration you gave. Your theory just doesn’t make sense (or dollars) with the evidence we have of Jesus death. It seems you are nit picking more than I.

You misunderstand me. I was only saying that if a bunch of boozing cow-slaughterers were willing to convict someone and risk getting machine-gunned for it, how can anyone posibly say that that was more than Jesus would be willing to do–for nearly the same purpose.

As to your lurid description: Since I have been about 3 years old, I have preferred to not think about what we humans were supposed to have done to Jesus. It is, to me, literally UNTHINKABLE. Whenever I actually think of your description as being historical truth, I have difficulty even looking at any of my fellow humans; I wonder why the Lord, God of All, would allow us to continue to exist. So: I go into the usual denial–I simply quit thinking about what you wrote.

As to your earlier post: Here is a somewhat lengthy reply.

While I know the notion behind the term “Holy Trinity”, ummm… yeahh…, I prefer not to have any opinion about the concept.

Jesus was the Son of Man: born to Mary, one of Mankind. When the angels showed up outside Sodom, they just showed up. When Gabriel showed up to say an 80-year-old woman was going to have a baby, G. just showed up. Jesus was really, trully, actually born, according to the Gospels.

When Jesus prayed the night the Temple cops grabbed him, he prayed that “this cup shall be allowed to pass.” Presumably, that passage refers to the events with the Priests and, later, the Romans.

Was his prayer answered? Surely he expected it to be; but, as I commented near the top of this thread, Jesus also taught us how to pray: One of the key elements of the outline for prayer that Jesus taught was

**The Hindus believe–Am I out of my depth on this one!–that Jesus was an avatar of the divine being called The Preserver; an incarnation in a long sequence of avatars of this particular divine personage–one of a Trinity. Although a half a World away, if their belief is correct it would be a item of evidence indicating that the notion of Jesus being a member of the Holy Trinity, THE Son of God, The Father, was accurate: A source in addition to the Gospels and suppositions concerning the contents and interpretations of the Gospels.

My take on it all, anyway–which is what you querried.



I still don’t see the correlation but I guess we’re gonna have to agree to disagree.



I agree! It’s hard to think of how cruel man can be to eachother. It’s hard for me to watch movies like Amedeus and Schindler’s List too. But not wanting to admit that this stuff happened is not an excuse to refuse to believe it. The truth hurts! It is hard to think about why God would allow this stuff. To be honest, I don’t have an answer. I don’t think anyone does. But I believe a day of reckoning comes for ALL.

You are correct about your facts here as well. But this is why Jesus was different than say, Gabriel. The fact that Jesus was born man is what makes him so strong. The whole basis of Christianity is this: “We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) Because of this, we all earn eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23a) But God provided a way out in His son, Jesus (Romans 6:23b).

Jesus was born of man, but he was also still God. (I believe) he remained perfect on earth and was the only “human” to do so. Thus, he did not deserve death (Which was the punishment passed down to Adam in Genesis). The “seed” is passed from man to woman. But Jesus did not come from the seed of man but God. Thus, he was above the punishment of death. He took this upon himself anyways and died knowing he didn’t have to.

Asking God to take this cup away was not him thinking it would be granted. I take it to mean “Father, please don’t make me do this.” Kinda like when you have a task you know needs to be done but you don’t want to do it.

As far as the Hindu belief. I am not familiar enough with that religion to comment on it. Parameter Π², I really respect your view. You know what you believe because you have researced it. I can respect that much more than the individual who blindly believes any thing trowled out to them. I don’t expect others to accept what I am saying either, but it is something I have come to know myself and not because it was spoon fed to me. So I can accept criticism and differing view points because I feel secure in my beliefs.