The Spiritual Sasquatch: A New Vision for Christianity
by Michael R. Burch
Recently a business associate told me that he and his girlfriend had seen a
Sasquatch. He seemed to be convinced that what they had seen was
real. And of course such claims are not all that uncommon. But if there really
are nine-foot-tall beings roaming the planet, why have we yet to find any of
I believe I have discovered the answer, in perhaps the greatest "Eureka!"
moment in human history. And I believe my incredible discovery will finally — after two
thousand years — make the resurrection of Jesus Christ understandable to the
masses. (This, believe me, is no small accomplishment. Please feel free to send
me enormous donations if you appreciate my mind-bogglingly important
contribution to Christian theology!)
I intend to prove that Sasquatches are Ascended Masters, and spiritual beings
of the highest order. I will also prove conclusively that his resurrection made
Jesus Christ the first human Ascended Master, and therefore the first Human
Sasquatch. Praise the Lord! My "debugged" version of
Christianity will make the Protestant Reformation seem like a mere blip on the
radar screen of religion. I am already laying the foundation of a new church:
The Sacred Shrine of the Spiritual Sasquatch. (I am desperately in need of
funds, as there are billions of deluded human souls to be converted, so please
send as much cash as you can, ASAP! Is any work more important than spreading
the True Gospel? Since interest rates are near historical lows, why not take out a
home equity loan, post haste, toot sweet? God and the Sasquatches will richly
I believe the solution to the ultimate conundrum of Christianity ("How can
highly imperfect human beings be "saved" and enter a perfect heaven?") lies in a
statement made by Saint Paul. According to Paul, at some point in time human
beings will be transformed from mortality into immortality "in the twinkling of
an eye." Way cool, huh? But what if the process is reversible? What if, for
example, ancient Sasquatches learned how to "twinkle" up to heaven, and also how
to "twinkle" back down to earth? Then they would truly have the best of both
worlds. When they wanted to eat, play or have sex, they could "twinkle" down
here. But at the first sign of danger, they could "twinkle" back up to heaven.
This would explain why people see them repeatedly, yet we have never
found any of their bones.
And if Jesus was also an Ascended Master, this would explain why people see
him repeatedly, and yet we have never found any of his bones either. Do
you begin to see the important parallels? (If so, please send me money quickly.
I need to print a new Sasquatchian Bible and Sasquatchian Hymnal.)
Suppose the spirit is intrinsically perfect, and can enter heaven at will,
once the body and its imperfections have been left behind. People who have had
near death experiences (NDEs) often speak of their consciousness being
"expanded," and of understanding far more than they did here on earth. Perhaps
the expanded consciousness can "remember" the mortal body and create an
immortal, perfected version of it. And, indeed, people who claim to have seen
their departed loved ones often speak of seeing lost limbs replaced, of glowing
health replacing illness, etc. One in five Americans reports having had such
experiences. (If you find these facts encouraging, please don’t forget to send
me mucho moolah, pronto. A magnificent Sasquatch just appeared to me and told me
that you will be richly rewarded if you send me your life savings within the
next five minutes!)
Okay, okay! Enough of the Sasquatch jokes, already. But here’s the thing:
after two thousand years, Christian theology seems to have hit a dead end. We
know far more about the world and its origins than the writers of the Bible did.
They made many serious errors. Who can take orthodox Christian dogma seriously?
Here are some of the ludicrous things orthodox Christian dogma tells us, along
with some of the questions such nuggets of "wisdom" raise:
(1) Human beings are responsible for suffering and death entering the world,
because of "original sin." But we now know that long before man walked the earth,
trillions of animals lived, suffered and died. How can man be responsible for
the suffering and death of animals that predated his existence by millions of
years? The "fall" has flopped as the cause of suffering and death.
(2) Adam and Eve were sentenced to death for eating the "forbidden fruit,"
which supposedly gave them the knowledge of good and evil. But this makes no
sense, because without the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve could not have
known that it was "evil" to eat the fruit in the first place. They could only know it was
wrong to eat the forbidden fruit after they had eaten it, and had been unjustly
sentenced to death. What a Catch-22 con job! Why didn’t God place the fruit a bit higher,
or put a fence around the tree, since Adam and Eve weren’t equipped to make the
correct decision? It was like putting poisoned milk before two babies and
saying, "Don't drink the poisoned milk or you will surely die!" Good parents do
not do such ghastly things, and even the worst parents usually don't. Was God
the worst parent of all time, or did men with evil imaginations make things up
(which would also explain all the errors in the Genesis account, such as trees
and plants growing before the sun was created).
(3) God was the first murderer, because he killed animals to give Adam and
Eve their skins for clothing to replace their fig leaves. Why didn’t God give
them clothes of cotton or wool or some other non-lethal fiber, and spare the poor animals?
(4) God unjustly sentenced all the animals to suffer and die, when they
hadn’t done anything wrong. How is that "just"?
(5) Later, when God was angry with human beings at the time of Noah, he
drowned all the animals. Why didn’t he send a human-only plague, if
man was the problem? But of course the Great Flood story is a badly-told
fairytale. Obviously it never happened. Any beekeeper or fisherman can explain
why. Bees are "unclean" animals according to the Bible. If Noah took only two bees onto the ark, they could not have survived
because queens and drones cannot feed themselves, or take care of baby bees. It takes an
entire hive to support one queen and her offspring: this is why bees swarm. And
a worldwide flood would have killed all the fish. In the early stages of
the flood, when the sea water and fresh water first combined, all the freshwater
fish would have died, because earth has vastly more sea water than fresh water,
and freshwater fish can’t live in salt water. But later, when it had rained for
forty days and the sea water had eached the tops of the highest mountains,
the water would
have become massively dilute, and all the saltwater fish would have died.
Finally, when the water receded, it would have become saline again. As
the land was re-exposed, it would have been "salted" by the evaporating salt
water, and salting land poisons it. So plants would not have been able to grow
anywhere on earth for some period of time after the Flood, and all the animals on the ark would
have died of starvation. So obviously there never was a worldwide flood that
combined all the sea water with all the fresh water. This means there were
always elevations of land that remained above water, so there was no need for an
ark. Perhaps Noah was a farmer or merchant who saved a few animals on
a raft of some sort, during a local flood, and the story grew and grew over
time, like the fisherman’s catch that keeps getting bigger and bigger.
(6) There are other "big fish" stories in the Bible, like the one about the
plagues of Egypt. In the first plague, Moses turned all the water in Egypt into
blood, even the water standing in pots. Then the pharaoh’s magicians "did the
same thing." But this makes no sense, for three reasons. First, if all the water
had already been turned into blood, there would have been no water left for the
magicians to turn
into blood. Second, only a complete moron would turn his only remaining drinking water
into blood. And third, if the pharaoh’s magicians were able to turn an entire
nation’s water into blood, he could have ruled all the world without needing
armies. The fact that he had large, expensive armies conclusively proves that
his magicians couldn't turn rivers and lakes into blood.
(7) If God was good, wise and all-powerful, why did he get in a pissing match
with the pharaoh? He could have put the Egyptians to sleep for a few days,
while the Hebrews got away peacefully. There was no reason for an all-powerful,
compassionate God to kill multitudes of
animals and children. And why did he keep hardening the pharaoh's heart, only to
fly into a rage over what he had caused to happen? Puppet masters do not blame
their puppets for bad behavior!
(8) Why would a just God keep killing animals and children, if he was angry
with human adults? The answer is simple: nature is amoral. Time and time again
the writers of the Bible ascribed natural disasters to the "wrath of God."
Today self-proclaimed "prophets" like Pat Robertson continue to do the same thing,
because they believe an all-powerful God controls nature. But innocents die
during natural disasters, so there is no reason to believe that anyone good or
just controls the elements. If God murders multitudes of innocents, how can he
judge human beings for being unjust or lacking compassion? If a young girl wandered into a forest and I knew where to
find her, of course I would save her. If I didn’t, I’d be criminally negligent. If God
knows lost children are dying in forests and jungles, and yet he does nothing to
save them, how can he judge human beings? If he doesn’t know they are lost and
dying, how can he be God?
(9) Human beings should overcome good with evil and forgive their enemies
unconditionally, but God — even though he is able to save human beings by grace
— refuses to follow his own advice, which makes him a hypocrite. Mind you, I’m
not saying that God or Jesus are hypocrites. I have no way of knowing such
things. I’m merely pointing out that orthodox Christian dogma makes no sense. Over and
over the Bible commands human beings to "be good." Over and over the Bible
claims that God and Jesus are good. But over and over the Bible attributes
things to God and Jesus that no good human being would do. I wouldn’t sentence
someone else to hell for not believing in me, after refusing to
speak to him personally. If I was so unbelievably petty and cruel, why should anyone believe in me? There has
never been an idea more unjust than that people should go to an "eternal hell"
for not "believing" in Jesus Christ, when he refuses to acknowledge their
existence by introducing himself personally. If he is unable to communicate with
human beings personally, he is hardly an all-powerful God. If he is able to
communicate with human beings personally, and yet chooses not to do so, then he
cannot be overly concerned about their belief in him. How could Jesus send
someone to hell for not believing in him, when all he had to do was introduce
himself? The idea is, literally, insane.
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here with the evidence. The Bible is full of "facts" that
are obviously not true, and that make no sense whatsoever. The God of the Old
Testament is schizophrenic. One minute he demands that human beings practice
chesed (mercy, compassion, lovingkindness). The next minute "men of God"
like Moses are slaughtering women and children in his name (Numbers 31) and
condemning rape victims to be stoned to death or sold to their rapists as sex
(Deuteronomy 22). When Muslim fundamentalists stone girls to death, Christian fundamentalists call Islam a "false religion," but the Bible
commands and/or condones the worst of horrors, including the ghastly stoning to
death of children, infanticide, matricide, slavery, sex slavery, ethnic
cleansing and genocide.
The New Testament seems better, on the surface, because of the life, example
and teachings of Jesus Christ. But when Christians decided (at a very late date
in the writing of the Bible) that non-believers and people who were liars or
"effeminate" would go to an eternal hell, suddenly Christianity became a very
dark, ugly religion. In the error-riddled book of Revelation, John of Patmos
said that human beings would be tortured with fire and brimstone "in the
presence of the Lamb and Holy Angels." So much for hell being "separation from
God." Now most Christians don’t know what to believe. A God who condemns the
saints of other religions — good men and women like Gandhi and the Dalai Lama — to an
eternal hell cannot be considered "good." But the fear of hell makes it
difficult for Christians to think for themselves. The simple words "Jesus saves"
become ominous, because according to Christian theology, not everyone will be
saved. If Jesus is able to save, yet chooses not to save, doesn’t that make him
the Devil, if an eternal hell is the only alternative to heaven?
Yes, I think it does. If no human being is able to save himself, and Jesus
was able to save the thief on the cross with a nod of his head, then clearly
Jesus should save everyone.
My lovely wife Beth once saw her grandmother speaking to her lost loved ones
in heaven, shortly before her death. Beth’s grandmother was a good woman, but
not exactly "perfect." Since I’m far from perfect myself, I find this a
consolation. But far too many Christians seem intent on going to heaven
themselves, while condemning everyone they despise to an "eternal hell." But if
none of us are perfect, and heaven is perfect, does it make any sense to exclude
anyone? It would seem that either everyone could be saved, or no one could be
saved. Interestingly, in the many accounts of near death experiences (NDEs) I’ve
studied over the years, Christians who had NDEs never spoke of being judged by
God, Jesus or the angels. Sometimes they reviewed their own lives and drew their
own conclusions. In many cases, they simply entered heaven, no questions asked.
And people of other religions often have very similar experiences. If their
accounts of the afterlife are true, I see no reason to believe people are judged
by God or Jesus before they enter heaven.
Can we take such accounts seriously? A friend of ours (a Wiccan) once pointed
out that in NDEs people only see the dead, not the living. If they were
hallucinating, why wouldn’t they see the living as well as the dead?
And of course psychics not only claim to be able to communicate with the
dead, but some psychics seem to be able to give the police valuable information
about when, where and how people died. I have read a book by a forensic
pathologist who was once a skeptic, but had so many experiences with the
families of dead people telling him things about the cases, that he came to
believe there is an afterlife.
I don’t claim to "know" anything definitively. I once had a dream in which I
believe my departed grandfather showed me something very important about human
religion. In my dream I saw him here on earth, in his own house, in what seemed
to be "outer darkness," with the voice of my uncle (a Christian missionary)
speaking in the background. My uncle strikes me as a religious fanatic who
believes Christians should be like Abraham: willing to sacrifice their loved
ones on the altar of religion. My grandmother had died, and my grandfather had
been left alone, so my uncle and his family moved in with him. In my dream I had
the impression of a terrible darkness and coldness in that house. At the time I
had returned to the Christian church after decades away, and was wrestling with
the fundamentalism of my youth, which taught me that human beings go to an
"eternal hell" if they don’t follow the dictates of religion. When I went to our
local Southern Baptist Church and heard churchgoers professing themselves to be
"saved" while homosexuals were damned to an "eternal hell," I felt like throwing
up. What I saw in my dream helped me understand how dark and cold religion can
be, when people put God and church above their loved ones. So I was able to make
a "clean break" which probably helped save my immediate family from a similar
experience (my wife was rightfully concerned that I was turning into some sort
of pious, sanctimonious monk).
If I’m correct, when we die we become spiritual beings, and by leaving our
bodies behind we escape suffering and death. (Not having a brain and nerves has
obvious advantages.) But suppose we were able to materialize and dematerialize
at will? According to the Bible, after Jesus died and was resurrected, he was able
to do just that: materialize and dematerialize at will.
Is it possible that Jesus became the first human being to "pull a Sasquatch"?
If so, when he demonstrated his new abilities to his family and friends, they
obviously became excited . . . and thus a new religion was born. If we read the
book of Acts — ostensibly the self-recorded history of the early Christian
church — it seems clear that the resurrection was offered as proof that Jesus
had fulfilled the prophecies of a resurrection to come. But the book of Acts
never mentions anyone being sentenced to an "eternal hell." Nor did Paul, the
great evangelist whose epistles (letters) were the earliest-written Christian
texts, ever mention a place called "hell" or "Hades." Nor did Paul ever mention
the virgin birth or any of the more fabulous accounts of the miracles of Jesus
here on earth. For Paul, the miracle was clearly the resurrection. It seems
clear to me — after years of studying the Bible and the history of the early
Christian church — that later copyists of the books that came to be known as the
New Testament were adding to and changing the stories. For example, it’s obvious
that Jesus didn’t rise into the clouds before a crowd of witnesses. If he did,
the four gospels, the book of Acts, and every other book of the NT would mention
this amazing event. If I wanted to convince someone that Jesus was God, or the
son of God, and I knew that eyewitnesses had seen him ascend into the clouds,
how could I fail to mention this? If the books of the NT were written by the
apostles and other eyewitnesses, they may have differed on minor things, but how
could so many of them have failed to mention the Virgin Birth, the
Transfiguration and the Ascension? That would be like writing books about
Abraham Lincoln and forgetting to mention that he was born in a log cabin, or
that he freed the slaves, or that he was killed by an assassin.
No biographer forgets the most important events in the life of his subject.
If there was a resurrection and this gave hope to the friends of Jesus,
obviously they would have become excited and would have told other people about their hope.
People who have NDEs and those who claim to have seen their departed loved ones
often do the same thing. But the earliest-written Christian texts don’t mention
a place called "hell" or "Hades" where people would be tortured for all
eternity. So it seems to me that the hope of Christianity became polluted later,
after Paul had died and was unable to correct the people who added to and changed
his gospel. Paul agreed with Hebrew prophets like Ezekiel that all Israel would
be saved, not just the "Chosen Few." In his famous Valley of the Dry Bones
vision, Ezekiel saw the entire nation of Israel resurrected, "an exceedingly
great host," and the people who were resurrected believed in God after the
miracle, not before.
The Hebrew prophets said that even Sodom would be restored, that chesed
(mercy, compassion, lovingkindness) would triumph over judgment, and that the
lion would lie down with the lamb. They never once said that the faith or works
of man would be required, in order for God to save all creation, and thus become
all in all. Whether anyone chooses to believe the most glorious prophecies in
the Bible is, of course, a matter of personal faith, but according to the Hebrew
prophets, personal faith had nothing to do with God becoming all in all.
If there is a God who is able to save all creation ("save" as in heal, make
whole), then I will be more than happy to congratulate him, after the fact, like
the people in Ezekiel’s vision. In the meantime, I see no reason to teach young,
highly impressionable children that they will go to an "eternal hell" if they
chose to listen to their hearts and minds, and not believe God could be so cruel
and unjust as to send people to hell for not believing in him, when he chose not
to speak to them personally.
Call me a heretic if you like, but if there is a God of Love, as virtually
all Christians claim, at least I don’t blaspheme his name by saying he’ll save
me by "grace" while sending people who prefer to believe in verifiable facts to
an "eternal hell." Why would a loving God torture human beings — or allow them
to be tortured — for the "sin" of using the powers of reason he gave them?