Harpur, the church, & the marginalized
In Tom Harpur s book, The Pagan Christ. Recovering the Lost Light, he claims: As we shall see, the Pagans , who were persecuted, decried, killed, and ultimately utterly vanquished by the Church, held views of the Christ within that the Church was to plagiarize blatantly and then cover up with book burning, anathemas, and murder. Because the root meaning of pagan is peasant , I can agree with Harpur that the institutional Church has frequently and consistently been guilty of alienating outsiders, fringe people, and the marginalized. I see it in our own time and town! Everyone has to agree that it has been the official mainstream Church that dominates the Christian landscape. I ve yet to finish the book, but I would contend that the Church isn t so much guilty of the blatant plagiarism to the extent of his claim, as it is influenced. I remember when Coldplay was interviewed. The interviewer expressed his opinion that they were copying Radiohead. Chris Martin responded that they may have been influenced by Radiohead, but nothing was copied. I agree. Music is always influenced by what goes on before and around. In the same way, I believe the church emerged in a highly charged spiritual climate in which there were all kinds of symbols and meanings the culture of its place and time understood and used to communicate the ultimate mysteries. However, I m looking forward to reading his critique of the Church. I believe in the Church so much so that I invite and welcome the severest criticisms because I am convinced that much of it may be valid and that the Church needs to be prophesied back into its original humble posture.