When pure religion descends upon the earth and makes its way among men, two things will happen. It will dissolve the false belief of the populace that they already possess it, and it will receive the opposition of religious institutions with pretensions to represent it. It was Saint Paul who started Christianity on the road which turned it into Churchianity. But he derived his Christian knowledge at second hand. He knew less about the work which Jesus sought to do on this earth than about the work which he himself sought to do. He is the true founder of the Christian Church, its first great propagator, but he is not the truest interpreter of Jesus' message. It is the Church's personal self-interest, however unconsciously present, which has made the apostle Paul the most praised Christian teacher and the most frequently mentioned one in all the sermons and writing of the clergy. Never having met Jesus, he should not be blamed for never having fully understood Jesus' teaching. The grave consequences of this misunderstanding appeared later in the form of obstacles which interposed themselves between Jesus and his true work, and which succeeded in diverting and distorting it. They were organization, dogma, hierarchy, and literalness. Where Jesus tried to create Christian individuals, Saint Paul tried to create Christian groups. This opened the door to hypocrisy, externalism, materialism, ritualism, priestcraft, persecution, and deterioration. The realizable kingdom of heaven within man had to give way to an unrealizable kingdom of God on earth. The way back to true religion must therefore lie through making a fresh start with new ideas and a fresh approach through individual self-development.
-- Notebooks Category 17: The Religious Urge > Chapter 5: Comments On Specific Religions > # 99
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