Why I believe that Christianity must be protected
Isn’t Christianity that terrible religion that oppressed the world for so long? Well, yes and no. Certainly there were a lot of people who did bad things in the name of Christianity, just as there are people who have misused other religions such as Islam and Buddhism.
Christianity needs to be protected because it is the original religion where the individual matters. Before Jesus, religions focused on the subjugation of the individual to the collective. The ancient Jews believed that they had to serve God, no matter how nasty and capricious he was (see the Book of Job). One could argue that the Buddhists focus on the individual, but in fact Buddhism focuses on the annihilation of the individual. The Roman state religion was used to reinforce the positions of the powerful. Even Plato and Socrates – seemingly the bastions of democracy – promulgated the notion of sacrificing the individual to the State.
Of the major-league religious figures, only Jesus said “you matter.” This is why Christianity is fastest growing in places in the world which are living under repressive regimes.
Jesus was a Jewish mystic – imbued with the Spirit of God at his baptism. This is what made him an “anointed one” – a Christ. Note that I say he was an anointed one, not the anointed one. He was not the only one. There have been others throughout the ages, and Jesus would likely have melted into relative obscurity if it had not been for Paul.
Paul (Saint Paul, Saul of Tarsus) picked up a few nuggets of the story of Jesus and packaged it together with some Neo-Platonic beliefs and “sold” the package to the gentiles (non-Jews) throughout the Roman Empire. It was a slick bit of marketing, but it had little to do with Jesus’s original message, as evidenced by Paul’s vehement disagreements with Jesus’s original disciples.
So, you may ask, how can I call this site Christianity 2020 if I don’t believe in the “standard model” of Christianity? Because, from all accounts, neither did Jesus! What we have received as the orthodox model of Christianity was defined by humans, mostly from Paul-started churches, in 325 CE.
And yet still, why even bother to repurpose the term Christianity? Why not call this “Jesusism” or something? I believe that one should not abandon two thousand years of honing the message. Yes, there were a lot of false starts and wrong turns, but clearly there is a divine spark in the overall Christian movement, and to throw this away in a childish temper tantrum is a huge mistake.
 There is some small controversy regarding whether this should be written as Jesus’ (as I learned it) or as Jesus’s (as is more common today). After much soul-searching I decided to go with the one that is more common these days.
 As evidenced by a fresh reading of Acts and 1 Corinthians.
 Throughout the book, I differentiate between “orthodox” (small o) and “Orthodox” (big O) Christianity. The first refers to the model of Christianity that was developed through the first seven councils; the second refers to the Orthodox Church, which in the USA is often referred to as “Eastern Orthodox.”