This is part one of my assault against the religious this season. If you have a short attention span don't even bother to read it. If you're easily angered, you should probably go away, too. Bear in mind this is mostly a polemic, so you can take it or leave it for what it is.
Christianity, as most people know it, is one big failure. Some people will drone on about the sins committed in the name of God, but that's really a smokescreen for something darker. Something that Christians would rather be forgotten.
First of all, since other gods have proper names then let's fix that so there's no confusion. God as the Christians call him, is actually named YHWH (pronounced Yah-weh, meaning literally I am all there is.) Never once did YHWH deny the existence of other gods, he just claimed to be god of the Jews.
He made this claim with the use of three covenants (meaning contracts) that are established in the old testament. In Genesis 17, YHWH's first covenant was with Abraham, to be fulfilled by Isaac. His promise to the Jews was that if they let him be their god then YHWH would make them kings of a certain parcel of land. That's it. Nothing more. YHWH does go on to address afterlife later but it all basically comes down to a worship me and become homeowners contract.
But the descendants of Abraham and Isaac failed to do things that YHWH felt would make them good Jews, so that's when he had to issue the second covenant, through Moses. Everyone knows this one from Bible school; the Ten Commandments. They first appear in the Greek Septuagint, but make their way into Exodus 34. This redefines the contract, putting it in more specific terms and clarifying things like worship. Mind you, it is still only intended for the descendants of Abraham and Isaac so the second covenant doesn't really apply to anyone else who isn't of that bloodline. That's why Jewish heritage is always verified through the female. It has to be well established who is a Jew and who isn't, because the contract isn't with other people.
However, just like lawyers finding loopholes in the fine print, Jews still had a difficult time following the second covenant. Things like: Yeah...that Do Not Kill clause...surely it can't mean all the time. So that's when YHWH made the third covenant. That basically said: Listen. I gave you the ability to know right from wrong. It's inside you. Forget the other covenants. Just follow your heart and do the things I let you know are good. However, at none of these times did ANY of the covenants of YHWH apply to anyone who wasn't Jewish. It's an exclusive club.
But then along comes this Christ guy. You know the one we celebrate around this time every year. And he brings forth another covenant. One that says YHWH knows nobody is perfect. Just follow my examples, be the best Jews you can be, and all of your minor sins will be forgiven (wait for the catch) as long as you accept me as your personal savior and recognize that I died for you. Which is good news for the Jews. In fact gospel is just another word for good news.
So Christ dies, and his disciples all have mixed feelings about it. However, many of them (most prominently Peter and Paul) don't want to give up on the Salvation business just yet. The racket has been good to them so they feel they will simply take the show on the road, traveling to Italy and Greece, respectively. There to spread the gospel and let everyone know that Jesus is their savior.
There's only one problem. Jesus himself told them not to do this.
In Matthew it's there in black and white. This New Testament Covenant was meant to be taught to Pharisees, Saducees, and Essenes. In other words, Jews. Christ claims that the covenant is not intended for Samaritans (Jews that went North into what would become Russia and China) or the Diaspora (Jews that went West into Greece). Most of all, it was not intended for the Gentiles (that word means any non Jew.)
But Paul spread the word in Greece to the Jews there (and anyone else that would listen) and led them to believe they could become Christians. That's where the Eastern Orthodox Church began in Greece and Byzantium. Meanwhile Peter went to Rome where there were so few Jews it was almost pointless but he spread the word to non-Jews anyway and that's where Catholicism sprang up.
I can't control the way people take this blog. There will probably be several counter-rants but it's simple:
I have no problem with Jews. The ones who follow the word of their god YHWH are doing a great job, and I admire their perseverance. I also have no problem with Christians. That is, any real Christian, which is to say a Jew who has converted to Christianity. Some choose to accept Jesus as their Messiah, others do not. Either way it's all good.
But anyone who feels they are a Christian otherwise is just fooling themselves. They are not following anything except men in funny hats. And if they want to give money to those guys, then by all means, stop around the block from my house. The homeless guy there has a funny hat and giving your money to him will do far more good.