The Christ Test
Should the new Christ be Christian?
Jesus Christ was not a Christian; he was a Jew, and the Jewish leaders executed him. That is to say that it was the religious leaders of his own faith that persecuted Christ the most. Even so, it was necessary to crucify Jesus in order for his destiny to be fulfilled. The Jews were not the enemy in as much as they were partners in bringing Christ to the world.
If those people who believe in Christ and are truly doing God’s work, why should they be confused by some radical change in their beliefs; like having a return of Christ. I doubt that if one Christ offers salvation that there is much more benefit in having another, particularly for those who are saved. It is the rest of the world that needs help, and the return of Christ may be for them.
The Roots of The Word of God
Zoroastrianism is perhaps the oldest monotheistic religion. There are ancient traditions that predate Christianity and may have served as a strong influence for Jesus in his teaching. To clarify what I mean by influence, Jesus as the Son of God most certainly had direct knowledge of God, but God's message is eternal. I believe that in the process of Jesus discovering his own identity as Christ there may have been many different divine influences preparing him. Jesus embraced the Word of God as taught in the synagogue, but he went beyond that. Very little of what Christ taught was new, and Jerusalem was a place where he would have had exposure to other ancient beliefs.
Sufism, Zoroastrianism and the teachings of Jesus have certain essential similarities. It might not be too far-fetched to think that The Messiah might return as a Zoroastrian, Sufi or some other older religion to get back to the roots of God’s Word. Those “roots” being that there is one God and that God is love. Zoroastrianism and Sufism are two of the few religious philosophies that believe that all great religions offer a means of salvation through devotion and love of God.
To me it seems contrary to the teachings of Jesus for God to allow many religions if there is only one that offers a path to salvation. This would mean that simply being born in the wrong culture, a soul could be lost. Indeed, the Bible recognizes that those people who do not know of Christ are not necessarily lost, and Jews have special consideration. It makes more sense to me that God would send saints and messiahs through out the world to teach God's Word in a language and within a context that could be understood and integrated into particular cultures. Life in the desert is not the same as life in the mountains or life near the ocean. People in different places need a different way of expressing the same thing, including the Truth. Yet, in our technological age, all of this is changing and cultures are becoming integrated. In this cross cultural society, it may be time to finally see what it is that all of these beliefs have in common and perhaps gain new insight into The Truth.
The Importance of Waiting for the Future
Both the Jews and Christians are waiting for The Messiah to return. The foundation of these religions involves waiting and having a messiah show up only in the undetermined future. Without a means to identify a new messiah it is likely that Christian authorities, or any other contemporary organized religion, will reject him just as the Jewish Church rejected Jesus Christ. The new Christ may not change established religions just as Jesus Christ's appearance did not transform Judaism, but rather inspired a movement outside contemporary religions.
In Revelations the coming of Christ accompanies the last judgment; which could mean an end to organized religions as we know it, if not the end of the world. If Christ returns and the world goes onto a new age with a progressive evolutionary metamorphosis and not a flash of global catastrophe, the Christian prophesy is left unfulfilled or at least in line for new interpretation. Many fundamental Christians could see this as proof that Christ has not returned. Because of this, I do not believe that many Christians would be any more accepting of a return of Christ than the Jews were of Jesus.
Transcending the Bureaucracy and Scrutiny of Institutions
Today, the world is not a single society with a single state religion. Our eyes are open to the variety of beliefs and cultures of the world. With so much difference it is harder to see how we are supposed to love others as we love ourselves. Tolerance becomes much more practical than acceptance. Mainstream religions exist to preserve philosophy and culture, which sometimes makes acceptance impossible when there is a conflict in beliefs. If Christ returned with a strong affiliation to major religions, I suspect that could make it difficult for him to be accepted by others.
At the time of Christ the Jews were a tiny minority in a world dominated by Rome with exposure to the ancient cultures of Greece, Egypt and Persia. Christ showed up in a tiny rural part of the world with a tradition of rebellion and unrest. As one of the offbeat crossroads of world culture, Jerusalem had many influences and the people were open to listening to things that were new and different. It seems to me that Christ might want to return to some offbeat part of the world and be part of a faith that is unhampered by the bureaucracy and scrutiny of religious institutions. For these reasons I do not see that it is necessary for the new Christ to be Christian or be accepted formally by many Christian churches.
The Christ Test Main Page
Should the new Christ perform miracles?
Should the new Christ be Christian?
Are you crazy if think you are Christ?
Should the new Christ teach Christianity?
Can the new Christ unite the doctrine of world religions?
Should the new Christ teach something new?
Should the new Christ begin a new religion?
Should everyone know the new Christ?
Should the new Christ be my personal Savior?
Should the new Christ be a man who
lives as God, teaches as God, loves as God and works as God?