Thank you for your posts and analysis, and in many ways I agree with your general impressions of the Christian Religions. They are clearly founded on fragmented scraps of factual information--disputed and reinterpreted in every which way. The theology of Christianity from the get-go involved the construction of an elaborate mythical Jesus Christ that was integrated with earlier, and in some cases very ancient Religious myths that had been previous very different foundations for spiritual faith. This broader construction was then further adapted into a theological instrument suitable for political control through organized Religion. This theology continues to be reinterpreted and reapplied as societies throughout the world continue to change, leading to a greatly fragmented modern world Christianity.
Albert Schweitzer, with doctorates in history, theology, and medicine, searched for ways to reconcile the historical Jesus with an updated theology that would at least reconcile the various flavors of European Christian Theology. You might be interested in reading through his scholarly effort: [www.earlychristianwritings.com]
Where you and I diverge the most is in explaining the persistence and expansion of an evolving Christianity. You attribute it to fear; I attribute it to a spiritual need. In my view, all of us are born with a sort of spiritual searching mechanism turned on--sort of like Pi: [www.youtube.com] Like Pi, I found myself searching for a way to God--not really to "know" God, but to at least feel a sense of communication. Expressing that way keeps changing. John Bunyon expressed it hundreds of years ago in Pilgrim's progress, but most Christians these days would regard it as overly simplistic: [www.youtube.com] Unlike Pi, or Bunyon, I found the spiritual link in music. Like Pi, I find spiritual contact to be mystical, so I would consider the way of Christ to be mystery based, not fear based. We're afraid when we've failed to connect. That sensor keeps blinking.