The thing that I detest about the Bible is how it is used by the wealthy by the church to maintain their wealth.
Whether there is a 'baby' to 'throw out with the bathwater', as far as 'the spiritual' is concerned has NOTHING to do with the wealthy and the church 'scratching each other's back'.
The Bible tells two stories. The first is about how the status quo came to be and ought to be maintained by religion.
The Jews trace their heritage, their ownership of their land back to the beginning of time through their God, who is the ultimate owner of everything. HE had, and still has the right to give and take away. HE gave the Hebrews, the Israelites, the Jews that land and only HE can take it away.
This is the Conservative Christian rant. Thoughout history, monarchs have been saying that God gave THEM their kingdoms for them to do with as they pleased.(with HIS guidance, of course.)
But EVERY Conservative Christian has 'the right' to THAT rant, everyone has the right to stand tall and say solemnly, that God gave him/her everything that they own and that only God has the right to take it away.
The Old Testament is that story of God's Chosen People and their trials and tribulations to aquire and sometimes lose the land that God gave them.
The 'thing' is, that it is just not true. I'm not denying the fact that Israelites owned that land for a period of time. I'm not denying that their stories are based on historical truth, as they remember it, when it comes to owning and losing control of that land.
What I AM denying is all the magical thinking that interweaves the stories, justifying genocide of the other inhabitants of that land and justifying their never ending ownership of it, whether they control it now or not.
Here, it is obvious to me that Christians adopted this magical thinking attitude towards any lands and wealth that they have owned, own now, and any that they may own in the future.
"God gave us this land!" (implying that as God ordained land owners they ought to 'call the shots' for everyone ON that land.)
It automatically excludes all non-believers from calling the land, or any part of the land 'theirs', obviously because if God gives and takes away land then unbelievers have no rights to it!
As the New Testament story 'testifies', the Jews God-given land is under the iron grip of the Roman Empire and the believers in Yahweh have not been able to control their God-given land for hundreds of years, the Jews have to have gotten something wrong if God is not willing to send a Messiah to cleanse their HOLY land (which God gave them) of these hideous unbelievers.
The thing is that reasonable people, kings(politicians) and priests alike can see that the only thing they can do is allow the invincible Roman Empire to rule through THEM, trying to keep their culture alive.
The priests might preach a coming Messiah because religious hope(magical thinking) is 'undying' by nature, but that Messiah BETTER ACTUALLY have GODLY powers, not just powers of persuasion which might get the Jewish nation 'put to the sword'.
Still, the priests could not stop itinerant preachers from convincing some of the population that they had magical powers, in fact 'THE POWER OF GOD'!
The New Testament is the story of one such iterinant preacher who had thought it throigh that owning a piece of land could not be the magical-thinking reason for the religion since, while they were still religious, while they sitll had God's promise, they hadn't actually owned the land for hundreds of years. Jesus made the 'move' from God's promise being an actual piece of land to a promise of a spiritual kingdom that could NEVER be taken away.
This is what makes religion palatable to the masses. The poorest of the poor can believe that they have God's kingdom in their hearts.
The wealthy can, with the masses appeased, and the collusion of the church, believe that they have rightful authority over God's land, their land, given to them since the beginning of time to do with as they wish.