Wednesday, 18 June 2014



ALL the organised "Christian" churches and denominations have departed from the kind of "church" intended by Jesus Christ and the church that existed in the first two hundred years of Christianity.

In the church that Jesus left behind in 30 AD there were no popes, cardinals, archbishops, auxiliary bishops, monsignors, canons, moderators, rectors, deans, chancellors, superintendents, etc., etc.

The early Christians remained faithful Jews and worshipped in the Jerusalem Temple and then met in small groups in each other's homes to BREAK BREAD in memory of The Lord.

In fact Jesus never came to start a new religion - he came to reform Judaism and bring it completion at the Messiah.

The early Christian churches were assemblies and gatherings of people and the Christian communities were run on collegiate and democratic lines. There were no "clergy" and no "bosses".

As the communities grew in size - and as various heresies crept in - the Christian communites appointed elders (presbyters) to look after them and deacons to look after widows, orphans and the poor.

In the early church venues like Jerusalem, Antioch, Corinth and Rome the "churches" were run by a group of presbyters or elders. 

Over time one such presbyter or elder was appointed to be the senior elder, "episkopi" or "overseer" and this role eventually emerged into the role of "bishop". But the bishop was a servant, the leader of a small community and not the leader of a geographic area. These bishops were not monarchs. The monarch like bishop was a result of the take over of the Christian church by the Roman Empire and was consolidated later in the middle ages.

Jesus never meant there to be a pope, a state called The Vatican and a Roman Catholic Church or a Vatican Bank.

Jesus never meant there to be a Church of England, with Queen Elizabeth as Supreme Governor and bishops in the House of Lords.

Jesus never meant there to be a Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptish church or a bank called The Presbyterian Mutual Society.

Jesus never meant there to be Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Jesus never meant there to be a Church of Ireland with British Army flags hanging inside the church.

Jesus never meant there to be a "religious right" in the USA or a dollar note with "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the back.

THE JESUS PROJECT has not failed.

THE JESUS PROJECT was soon abandoned by men who replaced his project with their own projects.

Christianity has not failed. It has been left behind. It has been forgotten.

And the REFORMATION of the 16th century was as much a part of it being left behind as was the ROMANISATION of the 4th century.

A curse on all your houses, I say!

+Pat Buckley


  1. Wow!!!

    I've been reading ur blog for a few months now and this is the best thing you have written to date. Well done Pat, not that I always agree with you but on this issue I do!
    Mark , Tyrone

  2. These are my genuine beliefs. Its from the heart. Pat.

  3. Sad but true. There are even 'Christians' who seem to fail to understand Christianity never mind destroy it. I could not believe the way a 'faithful' and longstanding Parishioner spoke to another Parishioner at the coffee morning after Mass the other day when she was accidentally given the wrong amount of change. My mouth fell open and I couldn't help but say out loud "haven't we just come out of church?" Literally minutes before, the two women had shaken hands and said 'peace be with you' and now one was all but accusing the other of theft. She walked away leaving the other volunteer lady shaken and bewildered. If as a 'Christian' we reserve our holiness for the hour we are in a pew in Church there is something awfully wrong with Christianity today and that certainly did not embody what I'm sure Jesus had in mind for the way we live our lives and treat our neighbours. I think there is nothing more beautiful than the celebration of Mass but am hugely saddened that so many people have lost the real message of Christianity and are just focussed on appearance and formality. I just wonder if she would have said the same if the Priest had been standing where I was - would she be 'Christian' for him but not for anyone else. Doesn't she know God is watching how we treat each other. As a Christian I give her the benefit of the doubt and wonder if she was having a bad day, has worries on her mind, is ill or in pain that makes her so grumpy - none of us are perfect - but it was disappointing to see that a state of grace lasted less than five minutes for her and the poor lady she was so vicious to.

  4. I agree with you Mark this is a superb blog, one of the best you have given Pat. Magnificent. It is such a clear exposition of the state we are in with all organised religions. How aptly you put it Pat when you said "the church that Jesus left behind". Now we have the Church that leaves Jesus behind. I am reminded of what a wise and holy man once said: "I love your Christ but I hate your Christians!"
    Please Pat share more of your thoughts on how we build basic communities of those who wish to live in friendship with God, according to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, loving and serving our neighbours, without the poison and contamination of hirearchs and Churches whose sole purpose is to control though fear and collect money. P

  5. P. Thank you.

    I believe that more searching Christians need to come together to bring into being a "church" (term used very loosely) of basic Christian communities that meet in each other's homes - in small groups - for the Breaking of Bread - in memory of HIM.

    Such small communities can form an alliance with other such small communities for larger celebrations - on THe Lord's Day or for important occasions like Christmas, Easter, Pentecost etc.

    I think these Basic Christian Communities shoud be collegiate and democratic and if they desire it - nominate members to preside at the Breaking of the Bread etc.

    There is nothing at all wrong with the model that emerged in the early Apostolic Church of the people nominating an overseer; a presbyter or a deacon to look after the community's acts of giving of charity.


    Basic structure to serve the community needs.

    Not structure upon structure to become lords, masters, controllers, rich etc.

    I think here at Larne we have something approaching this structure.

    We have a basic community of 20 / 30. Eucharist is followed by tea and chats. Decisions are made by all - including the decision as to who should lead.

    We are far from perfect.

    But that is the model we are working with - "the church that meets at Larne".

    Similiar groups can meet in Dungannon? Enniskillen? Downpatrick? Ballycastle?

    I would love more feedback Mark and P


  6. There is a distructive tendency in anything humanity puts its hand to. Perhaps it is the Adam & Eve syndrome. My old friend Hegel had a theory of Thesis Antithesis and synthesis. Round and round the circle goes where it stops only God knows! Sean

  7. The idea of basic christian communities is the way to go. As said above some sort of structure is warrented for accountability and transparency. There would also need to be some sort of constitution to ensure we are true to the teachings of Jesus and are legal and accountable to the law of the land Sean

  8. Sean, is the Kingdom of God not reigning free in hearts off all believers. Surely it doesn't need a constitution? Is this not the cause of churches reining in the reign of the Kingdom. Is it not more radical to trust everything over to Christ and simple serve with love... No rules, conditions, constitutions or offices (except ordained priests to serve at Eucharist but who have no other holding or office?) I think what Pat is talking about is radical but I agree with u Sean on one point... Human hands will taint the best efforts.

  9. Thank you You are right. I am thinking of a failsafe mechanism for when someone points the finger and nobody knows how to respond,. Damned if we do and damned if we dont. Its about finding right ballance. Sean

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