46: ZING – A DECAFF CREED? (Yes, actually)

I’ve written 40-plus posts since I scribbled out the original  Zingcreed “Manifesto” on the back of an envelope sitting in the sun in front of Kenwood House in Hampstead – beautiful grounds, I really do recommend it as a place to wander round and get a few moments precious peace and quiet not far from the heart of London.

Forty posts – time to take stock!

This is virtually a diary- let me not kid myself, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people I know who have read this blog. But I don’t care – it’s a new way for me to express all my pent-up feelings on religion (i.e. f***ing Christianity which has been getting it wrong all these years!) This blog is a continuation of my penchant for making notes on what I read. I’ve got a backlog of bible study notes I’m transferring to cyber space (probably to  some spinning tin disc in North Carolina powered by a cheap energy source like a smoky coal-burning power station.) Not morally OK.  But it has helped to clear my shelves of clutter and to make more of my old theology books available to Oxfam! (money for the global south) It’s all swings and roundabouts, all shades of grey. Were issues as morally convoluted in J’s time? I’m sure they were.

My purpose in the Zingcreed project is to follow the “truth”, that most elusive of commodities, wherever it takes me. And ‘wherever’  includes both belief and atheism. At the risk of sounding even more pretentious,  here are a couple of apposite quotes:

“Jesus said ‘Let the one who seeks not stop seeking until he finds. When he finds he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled he will be astonished’.”
(Gospel of Thomas 2 Nag Hammadi Library 118)

“Seek truth out in all things and hold firmly to that which is good.”
(1 Thess. 5:21)

“We cannot do anything against the truth but only for the truth.”
(Eph. 4:25)

Decaffeinated religion?
Red Bull and Monster contain 80mg of CAFFEINE per tin. £1.4 billion of these energy drinks sold in the UK in 2012 (Metro 15/4/13  p.34).
“A medium size filter coffee contains 60-100 mg of CAFFEINE per cup. Throughout history, CAFFEINE has been a popular drug. In the US 87% of the population aged two or over consume CAFFEINE regularly. It is a mildly addictive stimulant and it’s the most widely-used psychoactive drug in the world.”
Now substitute the word GOD for the word CAFFEINE  in the above passage. Just an amusing little  exercise.
   “A medium length church service contains 60-100mg of GOD per hour.Throughout history GOD has been a popular drug. In the US 87% of the population aged two or over consume GOD regularly. GOD is a mildly addictive stimulant and He’s the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world.”
Now, it’s my case that both  CAFFEINE and  GOD can be bad for your health, both physical and mental, especially if consumed in large doses! The Metro article quotes various instances of young people dying after excessive intake, and lists various governments’ clamp-downs on consumption. A doctor is quoted as saying “Habitual caffeine consumption can lead to physical dependence. Some research suggests that excessive caffeine consumption is associated with a number of negative health consequences, including:-
(1) anxiety
(2) heart attack
(3) bladder instability
(4) sleeplessness
(5) reduced foetal growth”

” BARISTA! MAKE THAT A DECAFF!! QUICK!”

This is a metaphor for atheism! God too is bad for your (mainly mental)  health especially if consumed in excessive quantities!  Zingcreed is the  manifesto of  a godless  set of decaffeinated religious propositions. By chucking out the bath water (but not the baby Jesus in it!) we are removing God from Christianity; eliminating all that is:-
(1) intellectually dishonest
(2) curiosity-reducing
(3) infantilising
(4) provoking irrational guilt feelings
(5) mental fog-producing
(6) intolerant
(7) gullible …I could go on and on!

 

A decaff Jesus-centred faith would look like………What?
Perhaps a few glimmering glimpse have been spotted among all the quotes I’ve laid out so far….perhaps I’ll get lucky and hit on a few more. Perhaps.

Meanwhile I want more Comments.

Perhaps one should heed the comments  of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons in c180 CE talking about non-canonical scriptures as “an abyss of madness, and blasphemy against Christ” and “These views, to put it mildly, are not sound; are not consonant with the church, and involve their devotees in the worst impiety even heresy.” (i)

 I wonder if JC drank coffee?

Sources:
(i) Pagels, E. “Beyond belief” Vintage (2003) pp. 32,86

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