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Monday, February 20, 2017

A Bone to Pick With Constantine

The more I read history, the more I feel sad for the demise of the original teaching of Jesus.

He taught the Kingdom within, the life lived by following His Way, The Way. It was a humble message centered around unconditional love for everyone including God and self and neighbor and enemy, forgiveness, healing, generosity, Oneness with God, etc. What actually happened in history is not that.

Let's look at Palm Sunday. Jesus came into Jerusalem on a pack animal, greeted by cheering peasants waving branches and articles of clothing. He objected to the collaboration of the high priests with Rome and the distortion of Judaism as a result. He stood for God's Kingdom.

Entering from the opposite side of town came Pilot with a full entourage of soldiers and high political types. His procession exemplified the dominating power. They came in from Cesarea on the coast, where he lived most of the time in the pleasant weather in a new palace.

We have a high drama of domination vs God's Kingdom.

300 years later the Roman Emperor, Constantine, decided that it would unify his empire if they all had one religion. It's a long story, but he chose Christianity and then set out to change it. He called together some of the Christian leaders (estimated to be 1/2 to 1/3 of them) to create a unified religion. The freedom of Jesus' inner kingdom and personal relationship with God became another arm of the domination powers. It has not recovered to this day.

If we honestly look at what happened after Constantine began it, is not a pretty picture. It is unlike the original Way. It is about control. It is about domination. The powers that took over, strangled away the sweet and yet profound, life-changing, transformational understanding that Jesus shared and asked us to follow.

I suppose that it is not too late. There have been great Spiritual Lights that flickered ever since. There have been moments of spiritual clarity, here and there. I wonder how we could ignite that True Light and bring transformation back via the Jesus understanding. Can we give up domination? Can the organizations give up domination? Can it be tolerated or even accepted by the dominators to set the minds and hearts of the people of earth on fire with what Jesus asked of us?

Imagine with me what kind of a place earth would be without the powers of domination and with the Light of God leading us in Love.

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