The M+G+R Foundation




INTRODUCTION

The following observations about the Gospel of Judas were sent to us by Mr. Charles Upton after we published our document (1) denouncing such self-evident blasphemy.  We felt that Mr. Upton's observations added another illuminating dimension to the points which we wanted to get across the Faithful, and he graciously allowed us to publish it in our domains in its entirety.

After Mr. Upton's observations, we shall make additional comments about the Gospel of Judas since we have now seen (in video) and read in two languages the Public Relations effort by the National Geographic Society to promote it.



Nine Points on The Gospel of Judas


  Some Observations on the Occasion of the Publication of The Gospel of Judas

A Guest Document

by Charles Upton


1) To say that Jesus conspired with Judas to get himself executed is a problem not so much because it rehabilitates Judas, but because it slanders Jesus. It says, in effect:

  a) That He tricked all of us, beginning with the other eleven apostles; that He is a swindler

  b) That He in effect committed suicide, making his “let this cup pass from me” plea to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane meaningless

  c) That He was not really the kind of person the world would “naturally” hate and want to get rid of, but had to artificially set up his own execution

2) The Gospel of Judas is closely related to the thesis of The Da Vinci Code and Holy Blood, Holy Grail that Jesus was not really crucified but survived to have children: If Jesus could trick us into believing that Judas was not an enemy but a confederate,  what would prevent such a dishonest schemer from also faking his own death? Both The Gospel of Judas and Holy Blood Holy Grail/ The Da Vinci Code view Christianity as a conspiracy, not a revelation.

3) For some reason people imagine that a spiritual civilization lasting 2000 years, producing innumerable great saints and theologians, superb art and architecture, humane mores expressing higher ethical standards than those of antiquity, presently represented by the most populous religion (or set of religions) in the world, and which until quite recently has functioned as the cultural and spiritual basis for our Western civilization itself, could have been produced by sleight-of-hand. If the gullible people of Jesus' time could have seen that the rabbit was already in the hat before He pulled it out, none of the above would have happened.  But since they did not see it, they were successfully tricked into producing a great spiritual civilization. Anyone who thinks that civilizations can be produced in this way has no intelligence even of a secular order, much less a spiritual one. Great things can be destroyed through trickery; they cannot be created.

4) The story of Judas is infinitely more meaningful if we see it as a picture of spiritual despair. When Jesus told Judas at the Last Supper, “what you must do, do quickly,” if this simply represents a conspiracy between them, then the whole thing falls flat. But what it really shows is a despair so deep that even when Judas saw that Jesus knew his plans, he couldn't bring himself to change them, since he was wedded to destruction – which is why he later committed suicide. He did not believe that repentance immediately places one in the field of God's forgiveness (though full purgation takes longer). God cannot make evil
good, but He can and does bring good out of evil. In the larger sense, in God's perspective, the role of Judas as Christ's betrayer had its place in the drama of the Atonement – but this in no way gets Judas off the hook! As Jesus said, “There needs be evil – but woe to him through whom evil comes.”

5) The Gospel of Judas is also closely related to the idea that is being discussed in Vatican circles these days, the heresy that nobody goes to Hell, that all are saved: If even Judas, the traditional arch-enemy and betrayer of Jesus, is no villain, then maybe, in a larger sense, all villains – Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Osama bin Laden – are also somehow working along with God for the greater good. We know how outraged the parents of a murdered child feel when their child's murderer gets away with a slap on the wrist; sometimes all they can say is, “but he won't ultimately get away with it, because God is just.” But if we can no longer cry even to God for justice, then we are truly without hope. What crueler doctrine could there be than the idea that there is no justice, even with God? John Paul II, in his encyclical Dives et misericordia, says that “….on account of his unparalleled greatness man deserved to have such a great Redeemer.” Certainly, in an intrinsic sense, since we are made in the image of God, we are higher and of greater dignity than any other created being. But we have sinned; we have fallen below that dignity; we are in need of redemption. If we already deserved to be saved by Christ, then why did He have to save us? Why did God Himself have to suffer and die for us on the cross? A simple phone call or friendly handshake would have done the trick. In this case redemption is not portrayed as a gift of God's mercy, but simply the repayment of a debt – of God's debt to us. And this is heresy.

6) If the Vatican now wishes to rehabilitate Judas, this is undoubtedly because they identify with the betrayer, since they have in effect betrayed Christ's spiritual legacy entrusted to them – as John Paul II may have done above, in his apparent denial of original sin. And is it really any surprise, after the Catholic pedophilia scandal, that they would be toying with the idea that nobody goes to hell, that even Judas was saved? If they can't police their own abusers, if they are more interested in protecting them than disciplining them, is it any wonder that they would want to do away with the idea of the grave consequences of sin? If theology can't control behavior, the next step is to change the theology so it is more in line with the behavior. But if I were Judas, heaven would be the last place I would want to go – for fear of certain potentially embarrassing encounters. Hell and its darkness would seem like a much safer hiding place.

7) This heresy is echoed by – or perhaps actually influenced by – New Age writers like Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations with God) who says that “Hitler didn't hurt anybody” and “Hitler went to heaven.” And the first place I heard the story that Judas was Christ's greatest disciple was from “New Age” teacher Gurdjieff – who also said: “One day Beelzebub [his book Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson] will be read in Pope's Palace. Perhaps I will be there.”

8) Heresies like this are pseudo-esoteric. Because the true esoterism of Christianity (like that of Dante and Meister Eckhart and Dionysius the Areopagite and Maximos the Confessor) has been lost, crank ideas rush in to fill the gap. Because we have lost our understanding of the Christian mysteries, we start to think the missing element must be come kind of conspiratorial secret. We think that esoteric means clandestine.

9) Judas, as Christ's betrayer, is the original Antichrist; therefore the present attempt to rehabilitate Judas is a sign of the coming of the final Antichrist predicted in scripture.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS by The M+G+R Foundation

As the Public Relations effort (2) to promote Opus Dei as the result of The Da Vinci Code film
(3) continues to saturate the media, almost everyone has overlooked what we feel must be the greatest attack against the Christian Faith in centuries - the heavy promotion by The National Geographic Society of the alleged Gospel of Judas.

By mid May, 2006, miguel de Portugal had already read the cover article of the May issue of National Geographic (Spanish and Portuguese editions)  and viewed their lengthy documentary giving audio-visual support to the Gospel of Judas. In Spain, the video could be acquired by just one Euro (4) over the regular magazine price of 2.95 Euros. The video was not yet available in Portugal.

The article was carefully reviewed in two different languages just to see what was emphasized, through translation, for the largest combined audience of Christendom - composed of Spanish and Portuguese speaking individuals.  To give the reader a flavor of how, through headlining and translation the brainwashing starts on the cover, we shall translate to English all three covers:

Portuguese edition of magazine:  "Judas' Version" - The secrets of a 1700 year papyrus
Spanish edition of magazine:       "The Gospel of Judas"
Video cover - Spanish issue:       "Judas' Lost Gospel"

We will not discuss the article and documentary at length because it would take pages; however, we will highlight some of its "notable" points.

1. The Coptic linguist who was key in the translation of the papyrus is quoted as saying: "In this passage Jesus explains to His disciples that they are on the wrong path."  [They were before becoming Jesus' disciples - but afterward, as well?]

2. In the documentary there is a lengthy sequence where the disciples are fulfilling Jesus' command of "Do this in memory of Me." Jesus walks around the table they are sitting at; he is laughing loudly while mocking them because they are worshiping the wrong God. The strong mental image transmitted is that of Jesus openly and blatantly mocking the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

3. A list of "Forgotten versions of Christianity", with their brief description, is provided. i.e. The Gospel of Thomas (110 AC); The Gospel of Mary (2nd Century AC); The Gospel of Truth (159 AC); John's Secret Book (150 AC); the Second Treatise of the Great Seth, (3rd Century AC)

4. In general - the four Canonical Gospels are dealt with in a manner whereby the ignorant or poorly Evangelized Christians will begin to seriously doubt the Gospels' authors, their purpose, their accuracy, and their validity.

5. The Gospel of Judas asserts two "facts": that Judas was Jesus' favorite; the one who really learned the truth revealed by Jesus and that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were really off the mark.  This transforms the whole New Testament into a Mystical Fable, with the Gospel of Judas taking its place.

6. Every effort is made in the documentary to impress upon the viewer the authenticity of the document called the Gospel of Judas. Therein is the master trick. As you are overwhelmed with the apparent evidence that the papyrus is not a fake but indeed an original from the 3rd Century
(5), you do not realize that your brain begins to transfer the certainty of the age of the document to the certainty that its contents are indeed true.  So powerful is the persuasion technique that one does not stop to think: Why would Judas Iscariot, allegedly Jesus' favorite, commit suicide if he was only obeying Jesus Who had promised him a place above all other disciples?  That would be as ridiculous as if a physician, moved by pity to euthanize a patient (with the patient's consent) would then be overwhelmed with remorse and commit suicide.  Remorse for what?
 
In conclusion, it is inconceivable that the Christian community - on a world wide scale - has not raised its collective voice from the pulpit, through the media - public and private - and through public displays of disapproval denouncing what must be the greatest travesty in Christianity - surpassing Emperor Constantine's chairing the much acclaimed and revered Council of Nicea (6). Why this apathetic attitude? Because Opus Dei was not being attacked - the attack was "only" directed to the foundations of Christianity. (7)


NOTES                                                            
(1)  The Attempts to Whitewash  The Sin of Judas
(2) The real "Code" of  Brown's Da Vinci Code
(3) miguel de Portugal's review of  the film
(4)  An equivalent video from National Geographic usually runs  between 5 and 9 Euros when purchased separately.
(5) The papyrus could very well be 1700 years old but that does not mean that its contents are theologically worth anything.
(6) It was Emperor Constantine, not the Pope, who Presided the Council of Nicea
(7)  It has been a confirmed before that  Opus Dei concern is with Opus Dei and not the Faith nor the Faithful


Published on May 25th, 2006 - Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord

Copyright 2006 by The M+G+R Foundation. All rights reserved.

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