Kipling was convinced, of course, as most fools are in their own bubble world. But it does sum up the propaganda and conversion drive to “save the native souls.” About a hundred years on, when people appreciate a thing or two of the Hindu way of life and thought, and Christianity in India is forced to adopt its features to cover itself with appeal, the Vatican mission is relentless. There is virtually an army of 40,000 missionaries in this country at Pope’s bidding, with billions of dollars to lubricate the mission with lure.
I would laugh at the carricature-like chanting that priestly congregations end up with, the Surya namaskara they attempt or when they put up images of the Virgin draped in a sari. But no, it leads to real heartburns, tragic cultural rootlessness among the converts, and much social and political friction between aware “natives” and the anglo flock. That is no laughing matter.
I rather like the bio of Jesus as a rebel, a champion of just human order, and as someone who was willing to suffer for his convictions. That he could rally people on the margins with his message of unreserved love, peace and forgiveness, is remarkable, especially in those feudal times.
Then they built a religion on his blood, without a shred of truth and evidence of any understanding of what the human preceptor really might have stood for. There is a way his life could have revealed for others down the ages; but that scope was irrevocably truncated in 325 CE. But first a revealing incident from even before.
Peter was much loved by Jesus despite his failings; perhaps because of them, for Jesus might have known the adage famously expressed in, “failures are the steps to success.” On the other hand, Paul is a missionary filled with towering righteousness and a conviction settled in the obscurity of faith. Peter’s is the quest without dogma, with which Paul has arrived. Pauls opposes Peter and narrates [ Galatians 2:11-21, English Standard Version ] : Quote
But when Cephas ( Peter ) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.
[a] 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him,
so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew,
how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
16 yet we know thata person is not justified[b] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ,
so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ
and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not !
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The last line rankles the most : Paul beats the Hun in vehemence. “… if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” He has chosen “grace” that is actually a mere image. But what shows him up is his massive presumption, of Christ’s purpose. The spiritual man shows no sign of an embracing heart that Jesus specifically asks his disciple friends to wear. Paul’s faith would have been agreeable if it had not made him so rigid in his disagreeability. The man can no longer avoid identifying with pathos, moulded in mega ambition. Few characters in history can match this missionary zeal, concealed within that cry, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is n longer I …”
The most interesting revelation of Paul’s crucified mind is his belief in the “law,” while one has safely set himself up above it.
“For through the law I died to the law…”
For what ? Something very exclusive : to live to God, he says.
Paul is already the Christ who, he says, “lives in him.”
“We are … not Gentile sinners,” Paul declares.
He suggests that we be “justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law.”
That, we be justified by our belief in Christ.
After all, the primary exclusivity Paul claims for himself and the likes :
“We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners.”
We have come far too away from the universal values Jesus might have rebelled for, on behalf of humanity. Let’s trace the timeline for how Paul’s religion morphed down the centuries.
Jesus was a human being until Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicea in 325 CE, where he was elevated to the status of divine by vote cast by the members called to the assembly. By election, in short.
While deliberations at the Council of Nicea was on, Emperor Constantine had his brother-in-law killed, who was still following the Pagan ways !
The Gnostic literature were cofiscated and burned by Constantine and charged followers in Christ !
The Bible ban for commoners stayed for more than a thousand years by successive Pope. Any one found with it was burned alongwith the Bible he possessed.
Christianity really grew, consolidated with powerful elites and strengthened into stark feudal ways in the Dark Ages, when everything in Europe came to a stand still; rather, slid into regressive existence from common citizen’s point of view.
Apostolic succession led to corrupt Popes who were murderers, adulterers, who sponged off Church funds.
The debauch ways of Popes would nauseate us today, what with their serial and parallel concubines besides wives; Papal sexual orgies were secretly celebrated events, routinely conducted in their privileged confines. Their rich indulgence would put Machiavelli and the Byronic hero to shame.
The several Inquisitions and their persecutive prescriptions were ingenious by degree of cruelty; they make us hang our heads in utter despair even toaday : Spain, rest of Europe… We remember ours in India, at Goa.
Regular Papal and clerical witch hunts during the period persecuted and killed thousands of innocents : Knights of Templar, Joan of Arc, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, Giordano Bruno … Galileo, the Reformers … the whole of humanity were declared “original sinners.”
Laughable thesis, if not funny, that God – the creator of everything — decides to send his only Son to wipe out the sins of humanity, several millions of years after humans evolved through dirty “sinful” fornication. He, God’s Son, was concieved in the womb of Mary without impregnation ! Without pronouncing on the moot question : who will wipe the sins of all those born and dead before the Son’s advent in 1 AD ? The compassionate God allowed his Son to be tortured and killed to atone for the sins of humanity, had him resurrected on the third day after His death without eye witnesses, of course, and made him ascend to Heaven in the clouds above…
The Church raises missionaries whose job it is to lie and create doubt in the minds of laity and prospective converts
– Jesus is the only saviour. You will enter the kingdom of God only through him.
– The only option for all of humanity is to rot in Hell, without respite till eternity.
– Hinduism is Satanic, primitive religion where idols are worshipped. That, India is still in the grip of Satan and it is the express duty of the church to liberate them from the Vedas, Upanishads, six Darshanas, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharatha, Ramayan …
Strictly from the Hindu’s perspective : there is no hope for the Vatican and its Church. Or, from them !