About: Zingcreed FAQ

Welcome to Zingcreed, the unique Christian/Atheist blog where I think aloud about religion and life.

F.A.Q.

How can you be Christian and Atheist?
I don’t believe in the literal existence of God. I do believe there was a real man called Yeshu (Jesus) who was a sage worth listening to today.

Who writes Zingcreed?
One man, a retired science teacher from North London.

What’s your USP?
I can say things about the Bible, Jesus and the church that Christians can’t say. No topic is out of bounds, nothing is sacred, yet I never try to upset people gratuitously. For example my letters to the pope are very polite. Also, I reckon that as religious blogs go, this is the only one that has more questions than answers, and any ‘answers’ you find here should be considered provisional.

What have been the major influences on you in writing this blog?
(1) My annoyance at the church as I see it, for not taking Jesus and his teachings seriously.
(2) The intellectual dishonesty of many on the Conservative wing of the church, e.g. the alpha course.
(3) Liberation Theology and my belief that it is as relevant for the world today as it was for Latin America in the 1970s.
(4) The Jesus Seminar: their work has enabled me to propose my theory of the Residual Jesus with the gold nuggets of his authentic Wisdom teaching.
(5) The third Quest for the Historical Jesus, especially thinkers like Cupitt, Boulton, Funk, Galston and Geering.
(6) The new wave of atheist apologists like Richard Dawkins whom I admire enormously.
Zingcreed aims to bring these disparate views together; to explain them in layman’s terms (assuming I can understand them in the first place!); and to pop them in the kitchen blender together and see what comes out!

 

Do you produce written literature or run a campaign?
No. But I will give talks to groups. Zingcreed is not copyright.

How did you start?
I was reacting against the Alpha course I attended in the autumn of 2012, and to things people said on it. I felt the need for another approach to Jesus, one that took modern scholarship into account, and was intellectually honest.

So you have an ax to grind?
I am politically left wing. I think Jesus was too. I am looking for convergences between Jesus’s teachings and those of other great radical thinkers and activists in history such as Marx, Tolstoy, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. I have a long way to go.

What qualifications do you have to write a blog on religion?
None. I don’t aim to say anything original though, I just paraphrase what others are saying.

“I hope you get something out of Zingcreed. You can get in touch any time but I don’t guarantee to answer quickly.”

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.

Related Zingcreed Posts:

The thinking behind the Zing creed
The blogger
A Christian-Atheist manifesto with Zing! (aka the Zingcreed)
Terminology
Throwing the baby out with the bathwater
Nuggets gleaned from “jesusite” websites
The default position, a brief argument for atheism
522: Is God subjective or objective? Why I left the church.

.

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. Peter,

    I want to share this thought with you, and would love your thoughts on it,

    When Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and “nobody gets to the Father but through Me,” what he’s really talking about is the example he sets for how we ought to live in this world.

    Belief in Jesus Christ for too long, I believe, has been characterized in the same way as a belief in Santa Claus, in that the mere existence of Jesus as Christ constitutes belief. Belief in Jesus goes way beyond Faith in Him as the Son of God. To me, we show our belief in Him by following his example. By living in the way he showed us.

    Jesus said, and I’m paraphrasing, “leave everything behind and follow me.”

    Some of us believe in God and Jesus as his Son, others don’t. I don’t really see a point in trying to push that issue on people. I think the best thing we can do is give witness to the Truth as we feel it in our hearts, and if we preach, let us preach the message of Jesus, not his Divinity. Of all people, Jesus probably preached His Divinity less than any Christian EVER. He always sought to show is connection to God though His deeds and acts.

    I will be checking on your work from time to time!

    Love and Light,

    Eric

    ps. and interesting side point, the word belief, in its origins, was a lot more like the word belove.

    1. Hi Eric
      Thanks so much for your letter.I clicked ‘approve’ to get it published on my site, but I’m not sure where it ended up! (I’m basically not computer literate!)I think your bible quotes come from John. See my Post ‘Was the fourth gospel fiction?’ You make very valid points, but I don’t feel you are getting to grips with the revolutionary points I am trying to make. Where we agree is on the importance of Jesus and on our own actions.You might find my 3 Posts on ‘Jesus’s communist brother James’ interesting. I’ve just come in from a 3hour Quaker meeting in London, on death… very thought provoking. I’m about to put online an interview I did with a volunteer who went to Palestine to witness for peace. Now that’s something I really
      admire.
      All the best, Peter T.

  2. Barry Beanland · · Reply

    Hi Peter

    Thank you for this blog

    I am a Jewish Christian??? I’m on the alpha course and not wishing to offend the others there have kept my mouth shut. My belief is that Jesus Barabbas and Jesus (Christ) son of my father, if not one of the same, were substituted for one another (having the same name)
    I am greatly warmed by everything you write.

    1. hi barry
      thanks for taking the time to write.I’ve come across 2 theologians in the past month who gave up the Christian religion to become Jews. I think such a move would probably bring them closer to understanding was Jesus was really about. Don’t keep your mouth shut on the alpha course (see my piece on it) Give ’em hell! I’d like to hear more about your Jewish/Christian views. You could be right and we could all be wrong!

      1. Barry Beanland · ·

        Hi Peter,

        Your ideas are in keeping with mine so I have plagiarized some of your work and cobbled a few thoughts together on where I stand within all this confusion.

        My Church the Methodist and Episcopalians of the Anglican Church of England

        Each member of our community is able to think for themselves, to wrestle with doubt and the questions of faith, and to arrive at conclusions which may be different than those of other members within the community.

        This openness has led The Episcopal Church to a number of positions, what you might call beliefs that actually are somewhat unique among Christian churches. These ideas and practices are not so much points of doctrine, like you might learn in Sunday school or a theology class, but they are defining characteristics of our church.

        As others of the Methodist movement we emphasize man’s free will in spiritual matters, and teach that a person can lose salvation. We support the actions of all those who follow in Jesus’ footsteps, genuinely trying to carry out his will with no thought for personal gain. A true answer might be to say that we believe in God, in Jesus Christ the Son of God, and in the Holy Spirit. But in our world today, full of division and uncertainty, many people find that simple answer unsatisfying. After all, don’t ALL Christians believe those things?

        People want to know precisely what a church believes about God, not just that we believe in God. People want to know specifics, so that they can decide if we’re “right” or “wrong,” if we have the right understanding, the right interpretation.

        That is not how The Episcopal Church tends to approach faith and belief.

        Our lists of “non-negotiable” points are very few, and largely shared with most every other Christian tradition.

        Those relatively few points are:

        • There is one God, who is a Trinity of Persons.
        • The First Person of the Trinity, traditionally called “Father,” created all things at the beginning of time.
        • Jesus Christ, the very human rabbi from 2000 years ago, was and is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, and our Savior.
        • The Holy Scriptures (the Bible) are the revealed word of God, written by human beings under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who is the Third Person of the Trinity. The Bible contains all things necessary for salvation.
        • Certainly there is more to be said, more that can be believed about God and Jesus. Many denominations or church traditions take very specific stances on issues or questions concerning things such as (for example) the nature of God or the method of salvation.
        • The Episcopal Church, though, is not bound together by shared positions on academic theological questions or by tests of doctrine. We are bound together by our shared traditions and experiences of God in the worship and the life of the community.

        Having free will in spiritual matters and being able to think for ourselves

        1) We believe in the Authority of Bible (2 Timothy 3:16)
        2) However, being protestant, we do not have to believe in the “inerrancy of scripture”
        3) We believe in following the teachings of Jesus.
        4) We believe Jesus taught ethics and ways of wisdom as well as exorcising and healing sick people.
        5) We believe the teachings are still relevant today and that if we apply them in our daily lives we bring the “Kingdom of god” into being.
        a) help the poor and feed the hungry
        b) welcome strangers, life’s losers and misfits
        c) take care of the widows and orphans
        d) visit the sick and imprisoned and free the enslaved
        Alpha Course

        The Alpha course begins by making fun of my church and suggests that God has left the Church of England.

        The Alpha course will suggest I move away from my Methodist church and join a group of people that are told what to believe and replace the Church where I have the ability to think for myself with a free will in spiritual matters

        Being told to idolize Jesus, worship him as God all mighty and look upon him as my personal savior is not in keeping with my Church.

        I was not born a sinner, I am not a sinner, I do not feel the need for forgiveness nor do I feel the need for a personal savior to save my soul.

        The need for this kind of devotion to and love of Jesus the person/God is not a requirement in the Methodist Church. Nor is it to feel the force as a Jedi Knight

        My belief

        For me to believe in something it has to be 100% verifiable. I think it foolish to have blind faith.

        Love is a powerful and dangerous emotional state which must be treated with great caution.

        I think it will be of little benefit to others or myself if I was to fall in love with the players of Manchester City football team (My team) or with Jesus the person, although, I am happy to follow them and give them my support .

        I was not born a sinner, I am not a sinner. I know about sinners and hope God forgives them for their sins.

        I feel no need to be forgiven nor for Jesus to be my personal Savior

        I believe in the teachings of Jesus, not the person of Jesus.

        Jesus challenged the religious and political authorities of his day.

        To do the same would be in keeping with the following of Jesus.

        I seek the authentic words and deeds of Jesus and wish to avoid being sidetracked by forgeries and dubious theologies inserted into the bible by Jesus’ well-wishing followers or early church leaders seeking to manipulate and control the minds of believers.

        GOD’S WORD® Translation (2 Peter 2:1)
        False prophets were among God’s people [in the past], as false teachers will be among you. They will secretly bring in their own destructive teachings. They will deny the Lord, who has bought them, and they will bring themselves swift destruction.

        2 Corinthians 11:13
        For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.

        Galatians 2:4
        This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

        Why I do not have to believe in the “inerrancy of scripture”

        (a) The gospels were written by unknown authors decades after the events they purport to describe

        (b) they all contradict each other

        (c) there are contradictions within each gospel

        (d) the stories in them were passed on by word of mouth for half a century or so

        (e) they are not written by eye witnesses or even by people who spoke the same language as Jesus, Aramaic

        (f) all four writers belonged to different early churches, each with its own local agenda and its own axe to grind

        (g) the earliest gospels (Q, Thomas and Mark) say next to nothing about the birth and death of the Man Jesus

        (h) down the centuries the texts (which had no chapters or verses) were hand copied by true believers, who must have been strongly motivated to tidy things up

        I believe in the colour coding of the 5 gospels by the “Jesus Seminar” and as a result believe the 4th gospel “Gospel of John” to be fictitious from beginning to end.

        Jehovah’s Witnesses
        Regarding their rejection of the so-called “trinity”, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Scriptures quite plainly demonstrate that Jesus and the Almighty are separate distinct persons, and the Almighty created Jesus as His firstborn son.
        .. ..(Colossians 1:15) the firstborn of all creation
        .. ..(Mark 10:18) Jesus said to him: ‘Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God.
        .. ..(Revelation 3:14) the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God
        .. ..(Philippians 2:5-6) Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God
        .. ..(1 Corinthians 15:28) But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him
        .. ..(Matthew 20:23) this sitting down at my right hand and at my left is not mine to give, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by my Father
        .. ..(1 Corinthians 11:3) I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; …in turn the head of the Christ is God
        .. ..(Deuteronomy 6:4) Jehovah our God is one Jehovah
        .. ..(1 Corinthians 8:4-6) There is no God but one. For even though there are those who are called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,” there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are and we for him.

      2. Barry Beanland · ·

        The confessions of the Christian loving great grandson of Rabbi Kauffmann

        A Christian with a Jewish background who can restore a sense of “the beginning”,

        (Aka the rambling of a lunatic Genius)

        There was a time when our ancestors did not know about Jesus (despite the prophecies).

        This is the TIME before Jesus (appeared as man so not to be a heretic)

        Remembering early God

        The Almighty God YHVH (Johevahe) spoke these words:

        I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
        You shall have no other gods before me.
        You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
        You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
        You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
        Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:
        Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
        Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.

        What could happen next?

        Christians who lose the sense of the beginning are in danger of becoming a modalist, a Mormon, a Oneness Pentecostal or may join the church of “True Jesus”
        Christians who are confused about the name of God and confused by the trinity are in danger of becoming Jehovah’s Witnesses.
        A true Christian first needs to understand the nature of the trinity, and then learn the name of the three persons in the trinity of God.

        The Mystery of the Trinity

        To be a true Christian you must first understand the trinity

        Standard diagram

        The above typical model of the trinity it is in fact a terrible explanation of the trinity and causes untold misunderstanding and incredible confusion.

        Diagram of the circle of god surrounding the trinity

        The True Trinity of God

        God is bigger than the three individual persons. The father is not God, the son is not god, the Holy Spirit is not God. God in not in the middle of them he surrounds them. The trinity IS God.

        Mathematical proof of the LOGIC of the trinity

        Person 1 = Johavahe
        Person 2 = Joshuaa
        Person 3 = Johan

        A human will count three in the trinity and say they are one without understanding how three different persons can equal only one God!

        A computer is better at logic as it uses binary to count.

        Computer what is the answer?

        Father = decimal 1 = binary 01
        Son = decimal 2 = binary 01
        Spirit = decimal 3 = binary 11

        Computer solution

        Input Output
        Father = 01 thus 0x1 = 0 therefore no God
        Son = 10 thus 1×0 = 0 therefore no God
        Spirit = 11 thus 1×1 = 1 therefore is God

        God is only first realized when all three are present and does not appear before then. God can only be 1 when the input is binary 11 and binary 11 is only present when there are decimal 3.

        To be a True Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant Christian

        1) Do not Worship only YHVH Johavahe or YSVA Joshuaa as God.
        2) Do not only think of one of the three persons alone when you think of God.
        3) Be equal in prayer and thought to the three in the trinity and pray equally to Johevahe, the Holy Spirit and as often as you pray to Joshuaa.
        4) You have two Gods if you believe that both the father and son is individually a God. They are not both Gods they simply belong to the trinity of God.
        5) Believe in and worship only the Trinity is God as there is only 1 God and it is the Trinity.
        6) Mention the name of Johevahe (remember he is not God) as often as you mention the name of Joshuaa.
        7) Only the Trinity is God and they are inseparable as the one and only God.

        Alpha Course

        I have identified a problem with the alpha course and with me being a true Christian wish to address and try to correct this problem.

        The Alpha course does not understand the trinity of God and is too Jesuscentric & philiojesus.

        The direction of the Alpha course is going away from true Christianity and towards a kind of Modalism or Mormonism

        The presenter Nicky Gumbel although having a Jewish father by race was an Atheist thus he has no understanding of “the beginning” and entered Christianity with a mind set of worshipping only Jesus as God. The father has no name and just happened to be there of little significance. The once “all mighty God” is forgotten.

        The Trinity rules ok!

        1) YHVH Johevahe is not God
        If you think he is you are a Jew, a Muslim, a Jehovah witness, an Arian Catholic, a Christadelphian, a Unitarian Universalist, but you are not an Orthodox or Catholic Christian.
        2) YSVA Joshuaa is not God
        If you think he is you are a Modalist, a Mormon, a Oneness Pentacostal or a member of the church of “True Jesus”
        3) The Holy Spirit is not God.

        Getting to know Jesus.

        A Christian believes in the trinity of God and Jesus. But with the division and uncertainty on who to worship, many people are leaving the church feeling lost and deluded. Don’t ALL Christians believe the same things?

        Jesus wants us to follow God’s commandments (Mark 10:19)
        19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

        Jesus challenged the religious and political authorities of his day (Mathew 15)
        Mark 7:5-8
        5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”
        6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
        “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
        7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.
        8 you have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
        (Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8)

        Becoming more like Jesus.

        To follow God’s commandments and challenge the religious authorities of our day would be in-keeping with the following of Jesus and becoming like him.

        I seek the authentic words and deeds of Jesus and wish to avoid being sidetracked by forgeries and dubious theologies inserted into the bible by Jesus’ well-wishing followers or early church leaders seeking to manipulate and control the minds of believers.

        GOD’S WORD® Translation (2 Peter 2:1)
        False prophets were among God’s people [in the past], as false teachers will be among you. They will secretly bring in their own destructive teachings. They will deny the Lord, who has bought them, and they will bring themselves swift destruction.

        2 Corinthians 11:13
        For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.

        Galatians 2:4
        This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

        Where do I fit in doing what Jesus says?

        Protestant Liberal churches
        (inclusive by free spiritual will)

        Trinitarian

        Church of England
        Anglicanism
        Episcopalism
        Methodism
        Wesleyanism
        Arminianism
        General Baptist
        Religious Humanism

        Note: The Protestant Church is not bound together by shared positions on academic theological questions or by tests of doctrine. They are bound together by shared traditions and experiences of God in the worship and the life of the community

        These churches encourage people to read the bible and think for themselves and emphasize man’s free will in spiritual matter. They do not tell people what they must believe. Liberal Christianity

        Unitarian

        Arian Catholic
        Christian Universalism
        Christadelphians
        Unitarian Universalism
        General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (British Unitarians)

        Note: People want to know precisely what a church believes about God, not just that we believe in God. People want to know specifics, so that they can decide if we’re “right” or “wrong,” if we have the right understanding, the right interpretation.

        That is not how The Liberal Church tends to approach faith and belief. They do not suggest our members are born sinners and *“Prevenient grace” is accepted.

        A belief in only one God and to disobey Gods commandments is a sin; to merely be human is not a sin.

        They do not believe in the “inerrancy of scripture”

        *Note: Prevenient grace is the “grace of God”, given to individuals, that releases them from their bondage to sin and enables them to come to Christ in faith but does not guarantee that the sinner will actually do so. Thus, the efficacy of the enabling grace of God is determined not by God but by man.

        Theocracies
        (Exclusive by test of doctrine)

        Trinitarian

        Alpha course
        Evangelical Churches
        Catholic Church
        Orthodox Church
        Calvinism
        Anabaptism
        Presbyterianism
        Pentecostalism
        Adventism
        Lutherism
        Note: The largest group who think they are the only Christians in the village and all the others are not Christian.

        Unitarian

        Jehovah’s Witnesses
        Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints (Mormons)
        Oneness Pentecostalism
        United Pentecostal Church International
        True Jesus Church (a rapidly growing Chinese group)
        Modalist

        Note: These people believe only they know the truth. They believe (apart from the JW) there is only one god “the Christ” who replaces the God of the 10 commandments.

        1 Timothy 5:8
        Weymouth New Testament
        But if a man makes no provision for those dependent on him, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is behaving worse than an unbeliever

        Focus on Jesus

        I very much agree with:

        1) Getting to know Jesus
        2) Becoming more like him
        3) Following his teachings (doing what he says)

        a) help the poor and feed the hungry
        b) welcome strangers
        c) assist life’s losers and misfits
        d) take care of the widows and orphans
        e) visit the sick
        f) help the imprisoned
        g) free the enslaved

        In the beginning there was God
        YHVH

        I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

        In this time BEFORE YSVA YHVH clearly states you shall have no other Gods before me.

        You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who BETRAY me

        YSVA clearly states know thy commandments (Mark 10:19) thus follow the words of YHVH

        YHVH clearly states not to make any Gods alongside him, so it is his son YSVA who sits at his right hand.

        YSVA clearly states (Mark 7:5-8) the teachings of religion and law are merely human rules and that we are not to hold onto human traditions and to not let go of the commands of God.

        In the End there was the father YHVH, his son YSVA
        And the Holy spirit who became God

        The End

        Desiderata

        Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
        As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

        Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

        Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
        If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
        for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
        Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
        Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
        Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
        But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
        and everywhere life is full of heroism.
        Be yourself.
        Especially, do not feign affection.
        Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
        Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
        Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
        Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
        You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
        you have a right to be here.
        And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
        Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
        and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
        With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
        © Max Ehrmann 1927

  3. Barry Beanland · · Reply

    As a result of google research the best I can do from being a Jew and trying to support my new wife in Christianity is to become a Unitarian Christian. The only church that seems to fit the bill is the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Do you know anything about them?

  4. hi barry
    you’ve certainly thought things through. I’m glad you found the ZING manifesto useful. ‘fraid I know nothing about Unitarians except they are v. tolerant (unlike the Alpha people) Go and see them – I’m sure they would love to met you and your wife.
    p.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: