Friday, April 20, 2007

More from Tolstoy

I hope this is not controversial...but hey i never said it, Tolstoy did...

If one set oneself the task of trying to confuse a man so that he could not think clearly nor free himself from the perplexity of two opposing theories of life which had been instilled into him from childhood, one could not invent any means more effectual than the treatment of every young man educated in our so-called Christian society.

It is terrible to think what the churches do to men. But if one imagines oneself in the position of the men who constitute the Church, we see they could not act differently. The churches are placed in a dilemma: the Sermon on the Mount or the Nicene Creed--the one excludes the other. If a man sincerely believes in the Sermon on the Mount, the Nicene Creed must inevitably lose all meaning and significance for him, and the Church and its representatives together with it. If a man believes in the Nicene Creed, that is, in the Church, that is, in those who call themselves its representatives, the Sermon on the Mount becomes superfluous for him. And therefore the churches cannot but make every possible effort to obscure the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount, and to attract men to themselves. It is only due to the intense zeal of the churches in this direction that the influence of the churches has lasted hitherto.

Let the Church stop its work of hypnotizing the masses, and deceiving children even for the briefest interval of time, and men would begin to understand Christ's teaching. But this understanding will be the end of the churches and all their influence. And therefore the churches will not for an instant relax their zeal in the business of hypnotizing grown-up people and deceiving children. This, then, is the work of the churches: to instill a false interpretation of Christ's teaching into men, and to prevent a true interpretation of it for the majority of so- called believers.


Anonymous said...

Think about this; Jews, Muslims and Christians, the Three Children of Abraham believe that a god, created the universe, made us in his image, gave us dominion over this cute little third planet from this sun, in this lovely galaxy, and then, in just one example of his many personal explicit crimes, he purposely drowned everyone, except for the a few of the "just" that could fit in Noah's boat. The god they believe in, from their own "book," is a self-confessed homicidal mass murderer!

That is not what's so alarming. More alarming is that, not only do these deluded people believe this nonsense, they actually worship the homicidal mass murderer that did this atrocity and countless others. They actually venerate him, and look forward to spending eternity "in his loving embrace."

Unfortunately, it gets even worse. All three religions believe their "Messiah" is going to come and deal with their enemies and save them...the humorous side of this is that each of the three "religions," and their literally thousands of sub-religions and cults, believe the other two religions, and their respective plethora of cults, are whom their "Messiah" is going to save them from...

The older I get the more I think John Lennon had it right in the 60's when he wrote...

"Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky...
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one."


dinsy said...

I would like to see Tolstoy's rationale for deciding that the Sermon on the Mount and the Nicene creed are mutually exclusive.

I agree that they have no point of commonality, as the SotM is largely about how we should live, and the NC is a statement about what (some) christians believe. But I don't see how this means that if you happen to believe the NC you can't put into practice the teachings in the SotM.

Of course, you have to have been taught the SotM before you can live it, and maybe the church does not teach this effectively, but that is a different question.

Do you agree with Tolstoy?

dinsy said...

Oh by the way anonymous, not all christians believe what you claim. I am a counter example. And I do know some others who would seriously disagree with your claims too. (Didn't see your post till after I had submitted mine)

Dave Lynch said...

Dinsy, the full chapter is at link above, maybe it would be easier to read Tolstoys rationale rather than me misquote him.
I do agree with the NC, so I think the statement 'And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church' is not very clear anymore.

I do agree with Tolstoy, and I like your point, I think the Nicene Creed is a non issue in my life, it is unimportant, it has no relaity and is just a 1700 year old document which if I never read again would be no loss.
The Sermon on the Mount meanwhile is a daily reality that fills and flows into and out of my life, every action and word I commit to public and private exhibition should be in every possible way subject to the SoM.

Anon...I agree with Dinsy, we do not all believe what you perceive. John Lennon promoted no religion, but this utopian dream is religious in its aims (one world). Your obvious anger kind of reveals that 'all the people living life in peace' is a long way off. If everyone lived the Sermon on the Mount it would be possible, thats why Gandhi lived it.
John Lennon was a very wealthy man who lived from the worship and money of his millions of fans, Im afraid his actions and his words were somewhat different, but he died young so I do not know what journey he was on.


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