This IS a STORY, i.e. NOT factual

John was very pleased with his new post as teacher of history at Adendale High; he considered it just reward for all the effort he had applied to achieving a first class honours degree in history, and following this outstanding effort up with a top class post graduate teaching degree.   

The new post, however, came with a caveat; the school needed a religious education teacher. John could take the position of history teacher so long as he also accepted the post of religious education teacher. In fact, there was no religious education teacher post vacant, it just happens to be the case that at Adendale High none of the staff agreed with the government edict that every school must provide religious education of a broadly Christian nature. This has led to the concept that the new boy/girl always gets the job, the job no one else wants. Gill Smith was delighted with the new appointment; she had held the hot potato now for eighteen months and was mightily relieved to be able to pass it on. John would be the new holder of this post until he could also pass it down to the next new employee, whenever that might be.   

John was not overly enthralled about this prospect, but it came with the opportunity to accept his first post as a history teacher. John accepted. To his headmaster John said, “I have no training in RE or any knowledge of scripture save what my parents have told me”. Brian replied, “that’s not really a problem, the lesson plans around RE are quite loose; start off by telling the children what you know, then Gill will slowly brief you with the agreed structure for the year as the year progresses. That way you can concentrate your efforts on history. We’re not really that concerned about RE; we just have to tick the government box that says we have made it available.”    

John thinks, “That’s doable, I can handle that until a new employee comes along”. On the day of the first RE lesson John decides to explain to the class what he knows of God, Jesus and salvation as relayed to him by his parents.    

He begins:

“The heavens were ordered and pleasant, ruled over by the high God know as ‘The Good’. He was attended to by a lesser God called Yaldabaoth who existed in the perfect ordered world of The Good and the chaos out side of this world. Yaldabaoth was not pleased with the chaos and without authority from The Good he created a world (our world) out of the Chaos.   

In this world the sky was known as Eve and the Earth known as Adam. Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom and the mother of Yaldabaoth spoke to Eve and said to her “mate with Adam and create man” So the virgin Eve did mate with the earth and created Man. Sophia then breathed life and wisdom into man and he lived.  

The Good learnt of this creation by Yaldabaoth and was not pleased, he viewed it as wicked and called Yaldabaoth the Demiurge, or “Wicked One”. He viewed all the humans as a part of himself trapped in the wicked creation.  

In order that we, the humans, could return to him in the realm of the Good, he sent a messenger called Jesus whose task it was to teach men the truth and lead them away from the wicked creation of the Demiurge and back to the Good.  

In modern terms we are led astray: the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims have you all worshiping the same deity being God, Jehovah, Yahwey and Allah. These are all names for the wicked God, the Demiurge; the creator of the wicked world. They tell you that Jesus wants you to worship the Demiurge. This is wrong, Jesus wants us to reject the Demiurge, learn Gnosis and return to The Good. To learn Gnosis simply means to learn about yourself, then you can leave this wicked creation and return to The Good” 

John was instantly suspended from his post and in the tribunal that followed it was recommended that John be barred from the teaching profession and advised to seek psychiatric help.  

John’s replacement, Jim, gave his first RE lesson, it went like this: 

“God made a virgin called Mary pregnant with the holy seed so that God could walk the earth as man in the shape of God's son, Jesus.     

Jesus performed miracles and preached love and kindness.     

He offered himself for sacrifice to save all mankind from the sins of Adam and Eve, the original sin. He was crucified for us, and on the 3rd day of his death, he resurrected and ascended to heaven.   

He will return to us in the future and reside over Armageddon, the final battle between good and evil, which God will win. All life on earth will then cease; when this happens, all those who believed in him (Jesus) and only those who believed in him will receive eternal salvation and live by his side in heaven for eternity.    

For the souls who denounced him, they will spend eternity in Hell with the Devil”.    

Jim now enjoys a prosperous and promising career as a top class RE teacher.  

The point being made: 

John’s belief, given to him by his parents, is every bit as legitimate as Jim’s. There were hundreds of thousands of people in Europe who held this worldview in the 12th and 13th centuries. This view of Christianity does not exist today because its followers were all put to death by the Catholic Church of the time. 

These two belief systems are separated only by time and chance world events. If today we view John’s beliefs as eccentric and crazy, why do we still accept Jim’s as valid?