For many decades I've understood the modern teachings of the bible to be empty of meaning. And here among scholars is similar thinking.
“Most of us have lived our lives under the smog of Industrial Christianity and
been trained to read the Bible according to the dictates of Priestcraft, which venerates the Bible as the Word of God but cunningly empties it of meaning; which reduces the Gospel of the Kingdom to a code of ethics or a guidebook for happy living; and which transmutes the New Birth into a legal fiction imparted to anyone who recites the Sinner's Prayer or eats a magic communion wafer. Priestcraft, whether in the form of fundamentalism or scholasticism, protestantism or popery, always demands a reading of the Bible that is literal and superficial and strenuously avoids the imaginal, the inward, and the transcendent.”
Franz Hartmann (comment from Jacob Boehme online)
Industrial Christianity - an apt term or not?
Yes a very apt term.
For the last few days I've been reading a book on Jewish theology. It's a real eye opener to see how those for whom the bible was written with respect to their culture have a completely different view on the nature of man, God, and salvation. It makes me think that very early on the Church went off in the wrong direction.
By the way all that Jesus taught was in complete harmony with Judaism.
I hadn't heard the term Priestcraft until recently and felt it was so on the mark.
The emptiness of meaning is shown by the incessant scripture ranting - which I'd put in the category of the "Industry" whereby the reader has not applied the words personally, avoiding the inward. The teachings become an intellectual rant and not an applied doctrine.
I never heard of Priestcraft either until now. I think the Bible has been vastly misinterpreted, as I have read it, although I am not a Christian. It seems to me that Jews actually read the scriptures, and try to find varied meanings in them, rather than the "intellectual rants" we hear from so-called religious people. In the U.S. we have religious fanatics trying to take over for the Presidency, although those who first settled here were kicked out of Britain because they were so extreme. In history in the U.S., they teach the children that our country was founded on religious freedom, and that the Pilgrims and Indians got along so well. They don't learn unitl they research it themselves how the settlers slaughtered the Native Americans. It's all so hypocritcal.
I agree Jean, vastly misinterpreted. Unfortunately we portray more animal traits than human ones when it comes to tolerance. This is as true today as it was when those pilgrims slaughtered the Indians. The British did the same to the Aborigine in Australia so we are not immune to ignorance.
There is no doubt that spiritual teachings, whether they be from the bible or the Kabbalah or the Bhagavad gita are confusing. It is often so because the application of the words are to be applied inwardly and not in an external fashion.
The statement that modern day applications of Christian teachings "always demands a reading of the Bible that is literal and superficial and strenuously avoids the imaginal, the inward, and the transcendent.” The confusion reigns because of the application. Using the rational mind that wants to make common sense of everything - but can't! Not applying texts to an inward state of being and missing the transcendent part of the self. The unawakened are instead being lured to always see the spiritual self as an external God and not an inward state of being. (The kingdom of God is within.)
Priestcraft is no different to Witchcraft - seeing that people are being lured into beliefs that are at cross purposes to someones perception of truth.
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