the last two meditations in this series, with their
discussion of the Christian myth, I feel the need to
do some clarifying.
knows the story of the young girl named Virginia who
wrote the New York Post in 1897 asking if there really
was a Santa Claus. Her father had assured her that the
Post would tell her the truth. An editor, by the reassuring
name of Church, wrote back the classic response, "Yes,
Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." Just because
something is a myth doesn't mean it isn't true.
previous discussions about the fact that Christianity
is a myth mean only one thing - the story is not literally
true. The facts are not accurate history. But people
who are disturbed by this assertion are missing the
point. There is a God; there is a Jesus; there is a
Holy Spirit; there is a heaven; and there is an ultimate
truth. And the religion we call Christianity is a metaphor
for the relationship between God and each one of us,
a spiritual narrative about how we move from sin to
came to teach us that religion and the law leads us
away from God. He wanted to tell us that the Kingdom
had come, that God was accessible to everyone, and that
the time for religion had ended. The last thing he wanted
to do was start a new religion. He would be horrified
to see what well-meaning people have done in his name.
He told us that his Kingdom is not of the earth. But
the church, and especially that branch known as the
Roman Catholic Church, has rejected Jesus' spiritual
message and used his name to establish the greatest
earthly kingdom in human history.
have been created by God with a dual nature - spiritual
and physical. Jesus' message was directed to our spiritual
consciousness. Yet, our physical nature is so dominant
that we corrupt that message and make it fit our physical
view of reality. When the church demands that believers
accept the Christian myth as literal history, it is
functioning out of its physical perceptions. That is
the opposite of what Jesus had in mind.
who see the Christian myth as literal truth are called
orthodox. Those who see the myth, correctly, as metaphor
are often labeled as heretics. Of course, Jesus was
also labeled a heretic, which is why they killed him.
It is very difficult to rise above our physical limitations
to see the higher truth which Jesus came to teach us.
mission of the Christian faith is to establish the Kingdom
of God on earth. That will only happen when we learn
that that kingdom is not a physical but a spiritual
one. To get to that level of understanding, we will
have to read the Bible in a whole new way. Seeing Jesus
as the Son of God is an indication that we are all children
of God. The resurrection is the promise of a new birth
for each one of us. When Jesus promises us that we will
do greater things than he did, we need to understand
that God created us for transcendence rather than sin
Virginia, there is a Jesus. The myth which has grown
up around him has put him in a prison of human tradition
and fear. Let us liberate him, and ourselves, by working
to learn the larger spiritual truth of Jesus' mission.
John W. Sloat 2006