The Neo-Manichaean Church:
Views on other religions and beliefs
There are really two types of atheists. Some don't believe in anything that they have not witnessed themselves. They usually will resist any spiritual ideas until they face death, their own or that of a family member, forcing them to ask, "why?"
But most atheists seem to fall into another category: those who can't swallow the Christian (or Muslim, Jewish, etc.) idea that the all-powerful god who created our world is somehow not responsible for the suffering and pain of the beings that live and die in this world. Most atheists I have met are not rejecting the possibility of the spiritual realm, they are rejecting the garbage spouted by corrupt, false religions such as Christianity. These atheists are invited to consider the viewpoint of the NeoManichaean church. A cruel and evil creation is the product of a cruel and evil creator. Unlike atheism, NeoManichaeanism offers the hope that there is a solution to suffering--and it does not involve kneeling down before the evil gods who made the world the way it is.
The Buddha provided insight into the nature of suffering and the eternal cycle of life and death. However, Buddhism was never dogmatic about the actual creation of the universe or ultimate origin of suffering--allowing local beliefs, and later science, to fill in those gaps. This aspect of Buddhism has resulted in fewer logical errors than other faiths, but Buddhists do not recognize the Evil Creator and therefore cannot preach against other false religions with any effectiveness.
Zarathustra (in Persia) taught ditheism (dualism), that there are two opposed Gods, one of order and one of chaos, in eternal opposition. This was a key element of many later religions. Unfortunately, Zoroastrians (and many other religions) view both sides of the battle as equally-powerful beings destined to do combat using force, ignoring the true nature of the Moral principle. Zoroastrianism is an endangered faith, seemingly doomed because it does not take converts.
Mani accepted Jesus as a product of the Moral principle, based on certain of his preachings of peace and love. However, the Bible was written by liars, and the teachings of the Christian Church itself were corrupted and misleading. 1700 years later it is clear that the Christian religion is one of the great forces of evil in human history, and this is not just because of a few greedy leaders or popes. Christianity is evil to the core, for they worship the evil creator-god Jehovah.
Christianity's failure is a result of its contradictory theology: the lie that the self-sacrificer, Jesus, was the same being as (or related to) the evil supernatural dictator described as the old testament "Jehovah" or the new testament "father/punisher". There is NO way to relate the concept of a "good" or "loving" Jesus with a God which would create a flawed and degenerate creation such as our world. Thousands of thick books have been written by Christian theologians and other philosophers with one intent: to "make excuses" for God for the suffering in this world. This is and always was a futile effort, especially for a religion in which the creator-God is said to personally murder and torture its own creations. NeoManichaeans will never accept that humans deserve to suffer and die for any action against our creator or for the 'crime' of having been created flawed and inferior. And even if you believe humans are 'sinful', why are all other forms of life also suffering horribly? There is no 'justice' in such a world, only malicious revenge.
Gnostics have attempted to correct Christian theology by dividing God into two: an insane "lesser god" which created the world, and the True God, which arrived in the form of Jesus. One version of this idea also connects the infamous Edenic serpent with the "good" God because it attempted to liberate humanity from ignorance and amorality--by giving us the knowledge forbidden by the evil god, the understanding of good and evil, which the evil Creator realized would cause us to rebel against him. This version is closer to Manichaean beliefs, but the overemphasis on Christian mythology limits Gnostic thought, preventing this church from encompassing the entire truth (and of course Gnostics are still heretical to the dominant Christian churches).
It should be noted that Jesus himself did not write the New testament on which Christianity is based. Did he really think he was related to the evil Creator-god? Or was this a misunderstanding by his followers--or worse, a deliberate deception inspired in the minds of the bible authors by the Evil God? Should we judge the prophet Jesus based on the actions of the evil churches founded in his name? Or should we re-examine the core teachings of Jesus--hidden but not eradicated--of love, peace, and hope?
This term is supposed to cover all of the various religions which associate gods and nature directly. Paganism is in essence the direct opposite of NeoManichaeanism, for pagans/animists believe that nature itself is good and united with the divine Morality. Most pagan religions are not as different from Christianity as Bible-thumping missionaries would have you believe: even in polytheism there is always a powerful creator of some sort, and always angels or lesser gods, and human saints or miracle-workers. We cannot say whether every religion on Earth is a product of deliberate evil deception or simply a human-born fantasy; few of these religions will survive the ongoing crusades and jihads of Christians and Muslims.
A note on idolatry: certain religions (Judaism and Islam) have condemned the idea of gods having a humanlike or physical form which can be represented as images (idols). However, even these religions believe as Christians do that their gods think, plan, design and judge in exactly the same was as humans do. It is just as wrong to believe that the moral God has inferior human intelligence and animal-instinct emotions as it is to believe gods have humanoid bodies, because all things human are aspects of the physical universe, limited and flawed. Idolatry in all forms is simply self-worship, placing human ideals into the heavens to lead us away from the truth. The Ultimate is not a big old white guy with a beard relaxing on a cloud, nor is it a 'universal mind'. No human concept can embrace the infinite, and recognizing this is a crucial step towards understanding the Truth.
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