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What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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Review of Bouck White's Call of the Carpenter

This is a book that extols Jesus over Paul. It went through an early edition. I found online the edition from 1911 -- Bouck White, The Call [graphic]of the Carpenter (Doubleday 1911).

The author sees Jesus as a rebel against the religious hypocrysy and self-seeking and greed of his day:

"Jesus was foe of religion in so far as it interfered with active service, just as much as he was foe of selfishness and greed." (Page 96.)

Here are sections about Paul. Let's listen in.





The Gospels Corrected Paul's Misunderstandings

[163] Paul was sincere, according to his lights. He spun theory of Jesus and of christianity largely out of his own brain, and regarded it as heaven-sent. We, however, have an advantage that Paul lacked. The gospel narratives were not written until after his time, or, at least, not until after the biggest part of his literary output had been completed, and his doctrinal ideas had formed and become set. We therefore have documentary evidence as to The Carpenter, where Paul had only hear say and the documentary evidence disproves in toto the theory that Jesus was rejected by his nation. The glad acclaim with which the common people greeted him and saw in him their deliverer, protrudes from every page of the record. The fires of the conflagration that were to break out in revolution few years later, were already kindled in the hearts of the multitude. The gospel narrative heaves and tosses on thin crust separating from the volcanic heats underneath. Take away those interior fires, the story is unintelligible. Not public utterance of The Carpenter but had reference, direct or indirect, to the insurgency that was a-boil in the hearts of the people. He was never at pains to seek popularity; it was thrust upon him. His effort was to curb that popularity rather than to incite it. Until he appeared, the people were "as sheep not having shep herd." Now that they had obtained shepherd, they rallied to him with an embarrassing wealth of loyalty.

[164] That the Jews refused to receive Jesus, is one of the crudest libels ever visited on people. References to the enthusiasm which they lavished upon him are frequent. We read that "they thronged him"; "all the city was gathered together at the door"; "they came from every quarter"; he "could not so much as eat bread"; "the people all hung upon him, listening"; "they said unto him, All men seek for thee." As background to the story throughout, stand "the multitudes." Erase them, the narrative is meaningless.

And this popularity followed him in Jerusalem during this last week it was to prove his death week. In order to draw attention to his message, he had made his entry into Jerusalem dramatic by means of stately procession; and "a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way." We read, "all the people were very attentive to hear him." His cleansing of the Temple, driving out thence the federated and officially entrenched thieves who had been for long preying on the people, was an immediately popular act: "Then assembled together the chief priests and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people." Again: "Early in the morning he came into the Temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down and taught them." Again: "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him." The fact that there was crowd of court [165The Carpenter now was safe so long as he was in the presence of the people. His bearing at this time evidences his perfect assurance of safety, provided they were around. For we read that "he taught daily in the temple." He was at home in the restaurants and wine shops of Jerusalem, and by his winsome camaraderie made friends among the common people everywhere. The philippic he delivered at this time against the Jeru salem oligarchy would not have been possible in one who had not the backing of the populace. For that invective is in words which sting like whip-lashes. As a piece of concentrated verbal damnation, it stands probably without peer. The hot metaphors race upon the heels of one another, surging from out of an oceanic wrath and speeded by poet's command of epithet: "Woe unto you!" "Ye devour widows' houses; ye [166] shall receive the greater damnation." "Child of hell!" "Ye blind guides." "Ye fools, and blind." "Hypo crites!" "Ye strain at gnat and swallow camel." "Full of extortion and excess." "Whited sepulchres full of dead men's bones!" "Serpents!" "Generation of vipers How can ye escape the damnation of hell?" Of similar strain was the parable of the vineyard keepers -- those rulers of Israel who forgot that their position at the head of the nation was stewardship, trust to be used for the people, and who exploited that trust for their own enrichment! "And the chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people; for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them."


Paul's Background In Roman Imperialism

[227] The annexing process was started by Roman citizen named Saul. Formerly Jew, he deserted his nation ality and with it his former name, and called himself thereafter Paul. Paul was undeniably sincere. He believed that in reinterpreting the christian faith so as to make it acceptable to the Romans he was doing that faith service. His make-up was imperial rather than democratic. Both by birth and training he was unfitted to enter into the working-class consciousness of Galileans. He was in culture Hellenist, in religion Pharisee, in citizenship Roman. From the first strain, Hellenism, he received bias in the direction of philos ophy rather than economics; from the second, his Phar isaism, he received bias toward aloofness, otherworldliness; and from the third, his Romanism, he received bias toward political acquiescence and the preservation of the status quo. The intensity with which he first along persecuted the Jesus cult was evidence of this mental make-up. In those Galileans Paul saw contempt of the learned and cultured class, and thereupon the Hellenist in him flamed up; he saw in them disregard of churchly morals, and the Pharisee in him flamed up; he saw in them further revolutionary spirit, and the Roman citizen in him flamed up. So that during this period he had been very zealous in his opposition to "The Way." Then he [228]

experienced conversion. But his conversion did not change these mental forms into which he had been cast, and in which his nature had been hardening through five and twenty years. Rather he carried his mental furni ture over into the new allegiance. When he became christian it was Hellenistic, Pharisaic, and essentially Romanized type of christian, and very different from the Galilee brand."

The 12 Apostles Reject Paul Initially

[228] And the proof of this is that the Galilean company, after they found out the real spirit that was in this "convert," refused to recognize him. On the contrary they quarreled with him bitterly. The fight is narrated in The Acts. References to it are also found in Paul's writings, in his complaints as to the way the original Galilean band are treating him. Scholars, finding natural affinity with the Pauline type of mind, take Paul's side and explain the controversy as one in which Paul stood for christianity's release from the ceremonial law of Judaism. But the Galileans were notorious for their disregard and irreverence of the Jewish ceremonials, and in the narrative of the quarrel in The Acts, Peter and his followers readily waive this point. No. The opposition between the two parties was deep-lying. It was more than difference of view as to the importance or nonimportance of Jewish ceremonial. It was an opposition of spirit. It was the fundamental antinomy: Jewish democratism in Peter and his fellow Galileans, as opposed to Roman imperialism in Paul.

The Final Conversion of Paul Was To A Different Jesus

[229] Finally on the Damascus road the Roman achieved the victory. To be jarred loose from his ancestral holdings, dazed him for time; no intense nature ever yet expatriated itself without experiencing wrench. When he recovered, the Jew in him was dead. The Saul had become Paul. True, Jesus was factor in this con version experience. But the Jesus to whom Paul went over was not the Carpenter of Galilee, but rather an im perial magnate, lord of renewed and glorified Roman Empire. Christianity did not change Paul so much as Paul changed christianity.

Paul planned to make christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. It needed religion badly. The catalogue of its vices, in the forepart of the Epistle to the Romans, is proof. Paul the Roman citizen saw nothing but excellence in Rome's world-wide empire. Only, it must be redeemed from its laxity of morals. Therefore he would bring to it the christ as its cleanser and thereby its perpetuator. It was the test of loyal citizenship among the Romans to seek out in every part of the world that which was most rare and valued, and bring it back to Rome as gift. Thus her sons went forth and returned laden with richest trophies to lay at her feet. They brought to her pearls from India, gold chariots from Babylon, elephants from interior Africa, high-breasted virgins from the Greek isles, Phidian marbles from Athens. Paul also would be bringer of gifts to the Rome that had honoured him and his fathers with the high honour of citizenship. And the gift he would bring and lay at her feet would be the richest of them all: religion.

Paul's Vision of a Unified Church in the Model of the Empire

Accordingly Paul set about to cast christianity into [230] the mould of the Roman Empire. In his tours we find him travelling the main-trodden routes of the Roman legions and merchants. His geography is the geography of the empire. The various metropoli, the administration headquarters of the several provinces, become his head quarters also. He plans an imperial church patterned after the empire, in that there shall reign in it an iron uniformity, national qualities being abolished, and all things brought under one centralized and powerful head. Himself of an imperial temperament, so that he ill brooked any spirit of independency on the part of his subordinates note his refusal to forgive John Mark, and his split with Barnabas Paul found the Roman masterful type congenial, and sought to incorporate it into the christian system. He shares with the other christians the idea that catastrophic end of the age is approaching. But the new order of society which he thinks of as following that cataclysm, is the Roman Empire still. Only Jesus will now be its imperator. Christ the emperor will have put all enemies under his feet. The new empire will be despotism as iron-handed as the present one; only it will be benevolent despotism.

Paul's Goal A Betrayal of the Master's Purposes

[230] have known him as one aboriginally incapable of concordat with despotism, how benevolent soever that despotism might be. The passive estate of the populace which all despotisms good and bad presuppose, was not regarded as the ideal state of society by him who was killed because "he stirreth up the people." Paul, in picturing Jesus as doffing his mechanic's apron to assume the pomp and purple of an imperator, betrays [231ignorance of him who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and who, when he sought truly imperial garb, "took towel and girded himself; after that he poureth water into basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet." Jesus was emphatic that he had no designs on the emperor's throne.

Paul Boasts He Learned Nothing From the 12

[232] Paul informs us that he obtained not his christianity from the original disciples. He even makes boast of the fact. Jesus had been very much at home in the company of Peter and James and John and the rest of the loyal Galilean band that had followed him from the first: "Ye are they which have been with me in my temptations." But Paul will have nothing to do with those Galileans. He explains with gusto that he refused to sit at their feet for instruction. Far from it. He is at pains to point out that after his "conversion" he went off into the desert of Arabia, and there syllogized christianity of his own. The arrogance involved in this Pharisaic assumption of superiority over the Galilean disciples, because they belonged to the working class and had not had his advantage of university education, were unbelievable did not Paul report it himself: "Im mediately conferred not with flesh and blood; neither went up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before me; but went into Arabia." From the start-off Paul makes it clearly apparent that if christianity is to attract Roman citizens such as himself, it will have to be taken out of the hands of those working-class disciples, and presented with some grace of scholarship and culture.

Paul Eschews Influence from the 12

[232] Paul has nothing to do with Mary the Mother. He never mentions her name. His quarrel with the Galilean [233] company implies quarrel with her also, for she was passionately at one with them. Had he been humble enough to sit for while at the feet of Mary and her fellow Galileans, he would never have made the mistake of attributing imperialistic designs to leader who en joined, "call no man master," and whose forehead re fused to wear kingly crown though the people urgently proffered it. But Paul had been too long "a Pharisee of the Pharisees." And it was not characteristic of the Pharisee type, with its pride of class and pride of culture, to take instruction from illiterate Galileans: "Thou wast altogether born in sin, and dost thou teach us! and they cast him out." Paul's "much learning" had bred in him distrust of "ignorant" people, meaning thereby people who had not college education. "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them" typically Pharisaic utterance, and one inconceivable in the mouth of The Carpenter, who, when he saw the multitude, was moved with compassion on them," who commended their un affected natures, who cherished clasp from their calloused hands more than from the hands of the haughty scholar class, and who called them with infinite tenderness "babes and little ones, rejoicing that his Way, which was hid from the wise and prudent, was revealed unto babes.

Paul's Disdain for Poor

[238] Even his no-work-no-eat doctrine was directed by him only against the poor. All around him were the rich, virginally innocent of toil, and yet who were gorged to the gullet. Paul sharpens no dagger of invective for these. Non-producers some of whom are in rags and some in tags, but some also are in velvet gowns should indeed be non-consumers. We hold here no brief for the idle poor.

Paul's Tactical Ambiguity

[240] The Carpenter had sought sharpness of distinction in economic principles, even though it cut square across the family circle: "Suppose ye that am come to give peace on the earth? tell you, Nay but rather division. Paul, on the contrary, sought to blur distinctions, his idea being cosmopolitan mass, mush of humanity such as exploiters everywhere find favourable to their interests. [241] He exhorted that his hearers should think of "neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free. He craved that all men should speak well of him: "Paul announced for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have offended any thing at all," which reminds one of Cicero, who, con fronted by some hard choice, would dodge by claiming friendliness to both sides. It is not strange that Paul had to defend himself from the charge of pointlessness: "So fight I, not as one beating the air." Cicero could not have surpassed Paul in the art of trimming his sails to the wind: "Unto the Jews became as Jew. To them that are under the law, as under the law. To them that are without the law, as without law. To the weak, became as weak, I am made all things to all men." (Whence perhaps arose the saying, "When in Rome do as the Romans do. ") To all of which one can only reply, and it is applicable to the Cicero tribe everywhere: Though you speak with the tongues of men and of angels, if you do not take part against the oppressor you are become as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal.

We can understand therefore why Peter and his fellow Galileans quarrelled so bitterly and persistently with Paul. (The Epistles ascribed to John and Peter in the canon are attributed by scholars to-day to other authorships; they are too imbued with the Pauline atmosphere of Pharisaic pietism and submissiveness to have been the product of the Galilean mind, which was in utter opposition to Paul and his school.)

[242] Acts record an attempt to patch up the feud. But the peace there patched together was only makeshift, and the quarrel broke out afresh. In the letters of Paul the discerning can read between the lines the controversy that is raging: If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be anathema." Paul says, referring to Peter: "I withstood him to the face." Paul's literary gifts have preserved his side alone of the quarrel, so that the Peter group seems to have been silenced. In reality, however, they were far from silenced. The feud resumed between their followers, lasted for gen erations, and coloured the history of the early church.

John was steadfastly with Peter in this antagonism to Paul. In passage of his Book of Revelation he seems to hurl back at this Romanized Paul the anathemas which Paul was heaping upon him and his fellow Galileans. No name is mentioned, but the characterization points, if not to Paul, then to some one very like him. For the "false prophet" there referred to is one who, like Paul, had the power of performing "works" psychic wizardry; it is some one who made show of lamb-like patience; some one who was friendly to the Roman Empire, the "beast," and who helped make the proletariat friendly to that empire; and it was some one, finally, who wielded power conferred upon him by the "beast." Says John: "I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like lamb, and he spake as dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, and he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the

[243] means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of man." John adds that the triumph of this apostate prophet was to be short-lived because the beast was taken, and with the false prophet."

There is a suggestion that John was stung to this bitter invective, and John's vituperative vocabulary, once awakened, was of no small compass by Paul's studious neglect of Mary the Mother, arousing in him gallantry of rage. For this passage in which John uncorks the vitriol within him, follows close on the heels of the soaring tribute to Mary. Paul studiously ignored Mary the Mother. In fact, his attitude toward woman as whole was typical of the hard Roman whose one ideal was subjugation, extending even to the wife of his bosom and the mother of his children: "Let the women learn in silence, with all subjugation. But suffer not woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve" there speaks your true Roman, your true subjugator in every age. To Aristotle also, slaves were "living machines," and women were nature's failure to produce men. There is in Paul an absence of the finer sentiments unthinkable that he should have gone to war for Helen, "the face that launched a thousand ships." Despite his rhetorical sky-shooting and mystic exaltations, there is in Paul hard and mechanical note. Unlike The Carpenter, he does not consider the lilies, neither does he see in little children benediction. His, "the man is not of the [244] woman, but the woman is of the man; neither was the man created for the woman but the woman for the man," reeks of Rome's hard masterfulness. If John's words against Paul or against some one very like unto him seem overheated, let the reader recall the circumstances under which they were uttered. Paul was citizen and boastful one of Rome's blood stained empire, which at that moment under Nero was most blood-stained of any time in its history. Rome's persecutions lighted on the other christians, but they lighted not on Paul. The Galilean party saw their friends and kindred dragged into the Roman Coliseum, nailed to crosses there, and torn from the spikes by raven ing beasts; or, dressed in tunics soaked with pitch, saw them burned to death, wrapped in shirts of fire. And Paul, himself exempt from that persecution, was boasting of his citizenship in the empire that was persecuting these others. Even when, like Cicero, he met his own death at last (when Rome had used him to her satisfaction), he still had wherewith to boast. For to him was meted out soldierly death beheading; Roman citizen could not be crucified or burned to death.

Christianity Betrayed from Within

[247] Nothing could have impeded christianity from the outside obstacles did but bring increase of momentum, the blood-baths soaked new strength into her sinews. Christianity was betrayed from the inside. Rome insinuated herself within the christian ranks, and there did her work. By reinterpretation of The Carpenter under the pretence of adding to his glory she exorcised from that magic name its power of evoking democracy; she turned it into reinforcer of despotism. It was masterpiece of strategy. The goad which had been pricking the people into unrest, was now flail beating them down into submission. Religion with its powerful leverage on the human heart no longer urged to liberty and self-respect. It lent its ghostly counsels now to quietism obedience, at any cost of personal values. If the light that is in the world be darkness, how great is that darkness!

[248] Wherefore our judgment of Paul and his fellow Romanists stands unreversed. Paul the Apostle is the term he coveted. Peter and the Galileans in their lifetime denied it unto him would probably have called him Paul the Apostate. Perhaps too harsh a term, that latter. Paul did according to his lights, but the lights that were in him were darkness. His niche in the abbey of fame is [249] secure -- his literary gifts have secured him that immortality. But the regeneration comes not through rhetoric. The powers that be there is no guidance in that star. Therefore the democracy will not found on Paul. Rather it will found on the Carpenter of Galilee, and with him will ask in every age whether the powers that be are the powers that ought to be.

How Paul's Writings Were Added to The New Testament

[258] So thorough-goingly was christianity changed from its original form of Way, Democracy, an Awakenment, that the transformation shaped the New Testa ment when the canon of scripture came to be made up. The original simplicity of the gospel story was overlaid by explanatory glosses, which were inwoven into the text itself. Paul's pietism was given canonical authority by the inclusion of his writings, and of writings coloured by his spirit, into the Book. Christianity became so saturated with metaphysics and pietism that even thinker so clear visioned in other things as Seelye, regards Paul and his fellow Hellenists as the essential heart of the New Testament.

Writes Seelye and his words are the more signifi cant because he perceives that pietistic interpretation of christianity is disservice to it in our day: "The whole modern struggle for civil and national liberty has been conducted not indeed without help from christianity, but without help from the authoritative documents of christianity. Liberty has had to make its appeal to those classical examples and that literature which were superseded by christianity. In the French Revolution men turned from the New Testament to Plutarch. The former they connected with tyranny, the latter was their text-book of liberty. Plutarch fur nished them with the teaching they required for their special purpose, but the New Testament met all their new-born political ardour with silence broken only [259] So strongly is the Pauline superstition upon Seelye that he feels coerced to define religion itself in terms of slavishness and passivity: "The age was religious, because it was an age of servitude. Religious feeling is generally strong in proportion to the sense of weakness and helplessness. It is when man's own resources fail that he looks most anxiously to find friend in the universe. Religion is man's consolation in the presence of necessity which he cannot resist; his refuge when he is deserted by his own power of energy or ingenuity.


Jesus' Message Was One of Equal Rights, and No Dominion over Each Other

[260] We prefer the testimony of Nietzsche as to Chris tianity's inmost meaning and essence. A staunch advocate of fist government over the common people, he warned the ruling oligarchy against christianity in its primitive form as their arch enemy. His rage against the democratizing spirit of The Carpenter betrayed him into heats which go beyond veracity. Nevertheless, despite the excess of damnatory epithet, the picture of primitive and essential christianity which here follows has truth above that drawn by Seelye. Says Nietzsche: "The poison of the teaching of 'equal rights for all,' has been spread abroad by christianity more than by anything else, as matter of principle. Christianity has, from the most secret recesses of bad instincts waged deadly war against every sentiment of reverence and distance between man and man. Let us not under estimate the calamity which, proceeding from chris tianity, has insinuated itself even into politics. At present nobody has any longer the courage for separate rights, for rights of domination. And if the belief in [261] the privilege of the many makes revolutions, and will continue to make them, it is christianity let us not doubt it, it is christian valuations which translates every revolution merely into blood and crime. Christianity is revolt of all that creeps on the ground, against what is elevated."

Even Seelye, when his view goes beyond the New Testament and takes in the scriptures as whole, is compelled to state: "No book presents morals in such inextricable union with politics as the Bible." And Harnack affirms: "No religion, not even buddhism, ever went to work with such an energetic social message, or so strongly identified itself with the message, as we see to be the case with the gospel."

But Harnack was writing of christianity in its early and purest form, before it had been captured by the Romanists and the Hellenists. The Greek philosophers improved" christianity by emasculating the virility out of it. The Galilean had been stirrer up of the people" but at the hands of the Greeks he was pictured as universal sedative, quieter of the people. He had been working man at home in the company of workingmen; now he was domiciled in kings' houses, among those "which are gorgeously apparelled and live delicately." His "good news" had promised comfort to the oppressed, by doing away the oppressor; now it was presented as morphine pill, numbing the sense of oppression. He had proclaimed kingdom of self-respect, so easy of comprehension that wayfaring man could not err therein; now it was transformed into system of met aphysics, so that only those trained in dialectics could [262] "enter in amidst the subtleties of parables." The common people protested, but their protestings were in vain. It suited the ruling class to have this cult of The Carpenter made over into ritual for the learned and the elite. And made over it was. Onto its original simplicity and democratism was grafted blend of monarchism and metaphysics, which was declared now to be very law of the Medes and Persians, unchangeable forevermore; and the people were exhorted to "receive with meekness this engrafted word." Thus it came about that that which had been the restoration, the awakened life, the "joy in believing," was made into another burden on the backs of the people, religion which they had to carry, instead of religion that would carry them. "How art thou fallen from heaven, Lucifer, son of the morning!"

Modern Brand of Christianity Has Become Immoral

[299] Third, that it is immoral, inasmuch as it presents to fundamental democracy the opposition of fundamental absolutism. And the last is the most damnatory count in the indictment. religion can exist after it has been found to be unbibli cal. It can even struggle on after it has become untrue. But it cannot continue after it has been found to be immoral. The tidal drift away from the church means much. But there is setting in to-day tidal drift against the church, and that means vastly more, particularly as that tidal sweep includes to-day some of the noblest enthusiasms of our time. When once conscience has been enlisted against church, that church is doomed. The religion of the classic world was able to keep going after it had lost its power of producing martyrs. But when, on stream of passion that came surging forth from Nazareth, martyrs were raised up against that religion, its hour had struck. The democracy to-day believes with all its soul and heart and mind and strength [300] that paternal despotism in the heavens is the begetter of paternal despotisms upon earth; that the church's the ology was made in an age of aristocracy, by the paid retainers of the aristocracy, and in the interests of aris tocracy. Therefore the democracy is putting conscience in its fight against this "spiritual wickedness," and is saying in the words of an aforetime warrior against wrong: "We shall doe God and our country true service by taking away this evil."

Uniqueness of Jesus

[305] d thus makes radio-active spirits possible. It is here that The Carpenter is the proletariat's lord by divinest right. For he is on the one hand the keeper of the floodgates of enthusiasm; and on the other he di rects that flood into channels of worldly use, of social transformation. It is this combination of the two traits in rarest blend, which gives him the easy preeminence and makes him the christ humanity 's anointed one. Other leaders there have been, with as lofty spiritual vision as he; but they lacked the economic approach; therefore they were boats with much sail and little bal last, at the mercy of the gusts of fanaticism and rhapsody. Likewise there have been upheavers of despotism, eco nomic reconstructors, as energetic as he; but they have lacked his hold in the unseen world, where alone are the hidings of power; and so, like laden boats without sail or towage, they have hung inert water-logged derelicts on the tide. The abnormal poise of The Carpenter whilst treading dizziest altitudes of the spirit, marks him out as the God-man; for he is at home in both worlds.

Judaism Is Rising Back Up To Embrace Original Christianity

[312] The Jews are going to rediscover Jesus. And they are to find in him fulcrum whereby to bring their democratism to bear effectually on modern society. The Jews are foremost among the agitators for new social order. For in their veins courses the blood that coursed in the veins of The Carpenter. Reports Renan: "In the revolutionary movements of France, the Jewish element played an important part." And that is true to-day the world over. ****

[313] And Israel is making ready to enter into this, her birthright. She is shaking off the dust and mould of cen turies, and is consigning to the limbo of departed things the ghetto accumulations of phylacteries, fringes and [314] the measurings of anise and cummin. Judah's long travail through the ages is not going to be in vain. The dead ghost is coming to life. For Judaism is natively social enthusiasm. It is Rabbi Menes who breaks the silence thus: "Christianity of to-day is not the old, original christianity. It is not Jesusism, for it is not the religion which Jesus preached." Professor Lombroso's solution of the anti-Semitic problem is new religion, "which should take as its standard the new social ideas which christ has already preached." Exclaims one of the dreamers of the ghetto: "I give the Jews christ they can now accept, the Christians christ they have forgotten christ, not the tortured God but the joyous comrade, the friend of all simple souls; not the theologian spinning barren subleties, but the man of genius, the lover of warm life and warm sunlight and all that is fresh and simple and pure and beautiful." The collapse of the old faiths is leaving void and an ache in the heart of man to-day. The Jew, through his intense democratism, was the giver of the Bible to men. Mayhap that same democratism piece of baggage unlost in these eighteen centuries of her wilderness wanderings may make her again the guiding light of world in search of religion.

[315] The Just One at the right hand of power overbroods this present time, and sends out vital nerve to every social devotee, to every daring dreamer. When Jesus identified himself with the proletariat of the ancient world, he took this modern age of democracy by the forelock. His allmastering faith in the common people of his day has achieved for him, now in democracy's dawn, an inalien able lordship.


[317] That carpenter shop in Nazareth is fulcrum from which democracy can move the world. There is regeneracy enough in the words of Jesus to right every wrong and to straighten every crookedness. He had no economic programme. The attempt to monopolize him for some particular plan of social architecture has done harm. For his oceanic nature refuses to be circumscribed within the limits of fish-pond. The Carpenter, with that sagacity which never forsook him, knew that there can be no patent-right and machine-made redemption of society. An antitoxin against nervous breakdown can never be. For the nerves react to thousand stimuli, any one of which, or the myriad combinations of them, may be the causer of the trouble. Only by restoring the entire man and the environment along with him can permanent cure be effected. Jesus was too expert social physician to advertise some economic programme as the cure-all of the sickness that has overtaken society. Rather, he set religion loose in the world which should, through the upward centuries, work the cure. That religion, as we have seen, was wrested from its purpose of earth-redemption by the special interests, those who

[318] profited by sick condition of society. But the cure remains, nevertheless, and needs but to be re-directed toward humanity's sore to reattest itself the sovereignest thing in all the world for social dementedness. Democracy is passion and not programme. If its warp is materiality, its woof is spirituality. It is shot with religion through and through. It is wager of faith. Its greatest gains have been in those eras when it has made largest demands on idealism, and has had its anchorage in the world of the unseen and the eternal.

Status Quo Thinking Crucified Christ

[353] Said Mayor Gaynor of New York City, when he was Judge Gaynor: "The existing order of things! The existing order of things may be the worst possible order of things. The existing order of things crucified Jesus because he was denouncer; and in this enlightened nation the existing order of things, even during the life time of those of us who are still called young, was that one human being might own another, and good men were mobbed for objecting to it. We owe all that we have to the steady advance of the human race against the compact mass who always cried out, and still cry out as lustily as ever, 'Don't disturb the existing order of things'." 

My Comment

White has many inciteful views on Paulinism. One in particular is that Paul envisioned substituting a domineering state-sponsored religion as the church of Jesus despite Jesus insisting there was to be no dominion over any believer by church overseers, and all were equal.