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The Gospel that Jesus proclaimed
was of the imminent reality of God's Kingdom.
He spoke to the needs of a people living under tyranny.

Paul explained the death of Jesus as a proclamation
that forgiveness of sin was certain for those who believed in him,
promoting that as the necessary aim of any who would live a holy life,
but largely missing the criteria that Jesus had defined for that life
as embedded in the nature of God's Kingdom.

Medieval considerations added bite and substance to Pauline ideas.
As authority became vested in Christian leaders, old ideas were swept away,
their records were destroyed and their proponents removed or executed.
Christianity became a state institution and has remained so
until the secularisation of recent days.

So Christian thought turned to more militant considerations,
proclaiming a different Gospel that had to be endorsed by all;
one of vengeance for our failure to obey a set of regulations,
of forgiveness conditional on our acceptance of a set formula.
It reverted to much the same message that Jesus challenged.

The message of Jesus put self second, even unto death.
The revised Gospel put self first, even after death.

We are inheritors of that Corrupted Gospel, centred on self.
It remains as a source of competition, warfare and evil
and a denial of the true message of Jesus,
but a very practical approach to power.
It is a message that must be revised
if Christianity is to survive.