THE LOST GOSPEL AND VATICAN II (Post No. 2)

 

(THE LOST GOSPEL Q, Original Sayings of Jesus. Ulysses Press, Berkeley, CA.1996).

WHY IS THE LOST GOSPEL(See: Post 1) CRITICAL FOR A CHRISTIAN?

Vatican II in the mid-twentieth century provided Christianity with a new and modern vision of God’s relationship with humankind (See: Revelation:).The vision is  modern because up until a short time ago—short  in terms of the millions of years of God’s creative activity—mankind did not enjoy the benefits of today’s science and a vastly enlarged reservoir of  the world’s wisdom. It can be called new because Jesus’ Church leadership had passed centuries resisting incursions into their power base, a political, dubbed divine, control of the certainty of knowledge (See: Science of History). As the famous Jesuit theologian Henri de Lubac once wrote “certitude makes us slaves.”

The Lost Gospel or Quellen is critical for the Christian believer—who has “ears to hear”—because it shocks us into the realization that the most reliable source of information about God’s most intimate communication with his creation, Jesus, has been certified by a human non-church controlled learning effort, albeit over two hundred years of scholarly man hours. Being a human enterprise  it lacks the certitude guaranteed by the politically manufactured divine power many have been accustomed to expect as a basis for belief about God and his/hers mystery-based existence. However, human knowledge, though always imperfect and fallible, has to be the basis for credibility in the divine.

Equally critical for a Christian, the Quellen taken from a lost document or not, more than any other available informational source, provides the proof that Jesus was a genuine human being with his own personality and limitations, as well as divine, the dual foundational belief of Christianity.  In hindsight the Christ of the gospels did supply a stronger and necessary emphasis for establishing an emerging church. We need to remember that historically Cesar Augustus and his successive Roman emperors were considered “divine,” not a difficult label, really, when the socio-economic culture permitted a minuscule privileged class with an army to dominate a good part of the civilized world. A very human powerless Galilean peasant prophet—can anything good come from Galilee?—that probably didn’t know how to read or write, and was crucified as a common criminal, demanded a stronger attestation for faith in his divinity. This was supplied by Jesus’ followers, especially an urbanized Roman citizen Paul, a charismatic Jewish theologian, who were prepared to die in the face of the mighty Roman empire of the first century to profess their faith in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

A third lesson from the Lost Gospel, is arguably the most sublime point of Jesus’ message to men, even more significant than the truth of salvation through his death on the cross: that God the Creator of each and every member of humankind, loved them all as a father loves his children. Jesus is depicted as God’s emissary who although without a sure sense of how this might come about strives to teach his listeners that in his father’s kingdom all will live on earth as in a human family, brothers and sisters, in a dignified harmony. (See The Our Father). Jesus shows his predilection for the outcasts and marginalized of that family, always the last to be recognized as our brothers and sisters. The fact that he doesn’t tell us why the last will be first is one  of the outstanding mysteries facing all of us. But Jesus makes it clear that our relationship with God our father leads us to act as his children living  together in a human harmony with love and at a minimum respect for one another.

This commandment as outlined in the Lost Gospel is an essential condition for living in the kingdom. It is an essential component of Jesus’ spirituality  offered as a model for those seeking intimacy in this life with our Creator/Mother/Father God.