Learning that Christianity was invented by the Caesars to pacify rebellious populations is disorienting to believing Christians. I believe, however, that this fact will eventually have a different kind of impact upon a far greater audience. In the last hundred years the great destroyer of human life has not been famine or plagues but governments, which always claim to be working in the interests of the people.
It seems no matter who we elect, or what form of political structure we try, the results are the same – financial insecurity for the masses, boundless wealth for a select few, endless wars, and ever increasing military and surveillance technology.
Why is this? Is there some flaw in our nature that makes it impossible for us to elect decent leaders? Some claim that political power always causes men to go mad. Understanding that Christianity was not a religion but a government tool has led me to a different conclusion.
I believe that rulers have never lost the basic understanding that led them to create Christianity, and that this enables them to remain in power no matter what form of government the people attempt. In fact, most forms of government – even the so-called democracies – were either designed to keep power in the hands of the same group, or have been subverted over time to do so. While this idea may seem fantastic, and can be attacked as a “conspiracy theory”, I believe that as the information in Caesar’s Messiah becomes more widely disseminated, many more will come to this conclusion.
You see, Christians were not called sheep for no reason. The goal of Christianity was to turn humans into beasts that could be easily herded. This is not a theory – that goal was achieved during the feudal ages. Though the ideas of human equality developed during the Renaissance presented a challenge to the rulers, I believe that they developed a strategy to survive. Though the identities of the ruling families may have changed, the knowledge of how to create sheep was passed on to the current ruling class.
For sheep to become citizens they will need to understand the tools that have been used to herd them, and this starts with an understanding of Christian origins and of how our rulers use Christianity today – particularly in the United States. They will also need to understand the family and business relationships of the powerful. But, most importantly, they will need to understand how rulers use the media.
Though the United States appears to be a democracy, it is not. It is an oligarchy kept in place by an ancient technique. The political candidates we can choose from, are a tiny group that somehow emerges through a selection process run exclusively by the media. Our current rulers own the media and use it in the same way the Flavians did. They control the ideas and personalities that their population has access to, and thereby shape their minds and limit their choices.
You can only have a lasting power if you control both sides of the political dialectic. So the sheep in America are given the freedom to choose whichever pawn of the military industrial complex they wish. It doesn’t matter if they choose McCain or Obama, the wars will go on.
While Caesar’s Messiah may seem merely a piece of Bible scholarship, it is really much more. It is a way to understand our entire history. And it may contain the path to a better future.
Originally published July 11, 2011
Atwill is an independent scholar who has set the world of New Testament scholarship in a new direction.