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More on Ramtha

I’m a little surprised (OK, really surprised) that when I posted the video of my lecture on the Gospel of Judas Iscariot two days ago it didn’t generate more (a lot more) discussion on the blog. Not because of the lecture, but because of where I gave it, the Ramtha School of Enlightenment. I expected that to spark a lively response. It didn’t. And the most common response that I did receive (on the blog or privately) was some surprise that I would lend my name to such an institution to give them greater credibility.

So I should say something about that.

To start: a number of people asked me if I would have given the talk if had known that it was not the American School of Gnosticism but was, what it was, the Ramtha School of Enlightenment. I think the answer is probably no. I had never heard of the school before, or or Ramtha, or of JZ Knight. But given what is said about it on the internet, I would have said this is just too crazy by half, and I don’t want anything to do with it.

So I agreed to give the talk more or less out of ignorance. But when I did read up a bit on the school and its beliefs, I didn’t think about backing out. My view is that if my message is worth hearing among people who agree with me, it is worth hearing among people who disagree with me. Did I lend any credibility to the school by giving the talk there? I have two responses to that question.

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Comments

  1. Avatar
    PersephoneK  January 18, 2014

    RE why there wasn’t much discussion on the blog, I think the reason is many people find commenting on Facebook easier (not just on your blog, but pretty much all blogs). Seemed to be quite a few there on the post. Its just a better forum for some aspects of discussion (allowing one to share with friends, etc), and not as good for other aspects. For what its worth, I had no issue with your lecturing at the Ramtha. I love how you’ll lecture at places that have different views from you. Lecturing to people who think just like you might be nice for the ego, but its preaching to the choir. Can never hope to change perceptions of the bible and get people to think historically about it if nobody with that knowledge shares it.

  2. Avatar
    Joel_Lisboa  January 19, 2014

    Still, reincarnations from 35,000 years ago is pretty damn crazy!

  3. Avatar
    TomTerrific  January 19, 2014

    Wonderfully thoughtful post, Dr. E.

    Thanks.

  4. Avatar
    dralpc  January 19, 2014

    Could not agree with you more regarding Kool-aide drinking. For forty some years I drank some flavor of the Roman Catholic Kool-aide until I read Misquoting Jesus. Reading your book started me on a journey that first left me sad, then anxious,then unhappy with myself for drinking the Kool-aide, to feeling betrayed. No problems with the red parts of the New Testament, but not so regarding holy mother church and their purposeful dissemination of misinformation.

    More recently been reading Mormon Kool-aide, The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff. Reading this novel / memoir / history gave me more information about the Mormon religion. As I read it, I could not help thinking how could anyone believe this but then reflected back on my previous and current beliefs and wonder the same of myself. Also wonder about future persons considering 21 century practices, thoughts, actions i.e. war for peace, military intelligence, home bathrooms, close washing, dentistry, school shootings, prison system the list goes on. Like Dr. McCoy, “I’m a doctor not a butcher.”

    Bottom line, mine is a journey into consciousness, watching shadows dancing on the wall of my cave, afraid to look out into the sunlight rising over the horizon, one step at a time.

  5. Avatar
    Yentyl  January 19, 2014

    I personally didn’t think a second thought about you teaching there because I know pretty much what you believe and pretty much what you don’t believe, that you’re an “agnostic,” meaning you, to quote you, “No longer know if God exists.” That you lost faith in Him because of the issue of suffering. I don’t know how to put this without it being taken as putting you down, but if you don’t believe in God or that Yeshua/Jesus was the Messiah then what difference does it make where you speak? I absolutely love your writings, books, the blog, but I don’t expect you to conform to opinion of where you should speak or not speak. If it was Billy Graham then, yes, we could all say, “What! You’re kidding me! What is Billy doing speaking at THAT place?!!!” We’d write emails, tweet, etc. But Bart Ehrman? You’re not bound to the standards of church doctrine. No one can tell you where to speak and where not to. You’re a free spirit and a lot of people respect you for that. So go forth and speak! Enjoy life! I actually thought it was very interesting. Ha! God will use HIS Word in any place at any time from any person. “My word will not return unto me void.” We’re just the vessel.

  6. Avatar
    bruce  January 19, 2014

    Well said Bart!

  7. Avatar
    JBSeth1  January 19, 2014

    Hello Professor Ehrman,
    I just completed watching the second half of your presentation at the Ramtha School of Enlightment.
    For me, what I found most interesting was your closing comments about your personal beliefs on creation.
    The fact that you believe that this one life is all there is, and yet you still find it very important to do something to help other peoples suffering, via your Blog, speaks volumes to the rest of us about who you are.
    Thank you, for all that you do to make this world a better place.
    John

  8. Avatar
    MichaelBrainerd  January 19, 2014

    All of us have crazy things that we say, do, eat or don’t eat, believe, or hang on too! SO WHAT! That’s what has made the world what it is over time. Yes it has and still is causing wars and arguments but if it is not infringing on my rights to think and believe what I want too why should I care? For some reason everyone has try to figure out what is or is not wrong with everyone else: religion, music, fashion, education, and on and on it goes! Don’t get it!

  9. Avatar
    Slydog1227  January 24, 2014

    Bravo! I say ” Go tell it from the mountain!” You probably don’t realize how many times some of us who follow you “religiously” actually tell other folks “Well Dr. Bart Ehrman says…..!!!” I say the judgement should be on those who invite you to speak, rather than on you for going and speaking. I’d love to meet you and hear you in person! If you are ever in the Memphis area again, please post your schedule so that I can plan to attend! I’d even force myself to sit happily among a bunch of Southern Baptists for an evening just for the honor of it! Thank you for my Christian education! Keep up the good work!

  10. Avatar
    bbcamerican  June 25, 2015

    Okay, I just joined the blog about a month ago, so I’m REALLY late to this discussion, but I just had to post. Although I grew up Christian and all of my family still are, I alas, am no longer a believer. One reason, among many, was thinking how I would explain Christianity to someone who had never heard of it before. “Well, you see, there’s God, and he’s the only one. He created everything, including humans. Now, He loves us all UNCONDITIONALLY. But he made us all broken, and when we disappointed Him in our imperfection, he flooded the earth with the intent to kill all of us but a few who didn’t displease him quite as much as the rest of us did. However, those he allowed to live were still imperfect, go figure, and a disappointment, which resulted in Him having to send down Himself/His son/Scapegoat/? to die in order to cleanse the sin/imperfection that God Himself created in us in the first place. And by this Jesus’s death (human sacrifice) and by our remembrance of him by eating his body and drinking his blood (ritualistic cannabalism) our God-created imperfections are forgiven by….God?” When I think about even trying to explain that to someone, it doesn’t seem much/any less crazy than 35,000 year-old philosopher warriors (RAMTHA) or several thousand year-old Thetans (Scientology).

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that (a la Seinfeld). I’m not saying that Christians are wrong. I’m just saying that from the outside, it doesn’t look much more reasonable than any of a thousand other belief systems/religions that have existed over the very likely more than 6,000 years since the earth was created.

    Love this blog!
    Mike

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