***H: GR and the philosophical discussion about the nature of time necessitate this kind of thinking. D: If it necessitates that kind of thinking, perhaps it is in error!***
Thinking of rocks necessitates philosophical thinking. Nothing in the way of philosophical implication causes GR to be false.
***Suppose that, in order to explain reality, there is indeed a need for a fourth axis (other than x,y & z) but that it is a real axis (just like x,y & z) and that those devices we call clocks measure precisely the motion along that fourth axis. Then let time be a parameter indicating interaction (two things interacting means they exist at the same time). Allow no interactions except "contact interaction" (the potential well being a Dirac delta function): i.e., all forces are to be explained by virtual particle exchange (essentially quantum electrodynamics by the way). Finally, require every event to move at a fixed speed in this 4 dimensional universe. In this situation, quantization of momentum along that fourth axis yields some rather surprising kinematics. The uncertainty principal makes the axis undetectable. If the quantized momentum in that direction is called mass, all the dynamics of Special relativity will be seen to be valid. General relativity is a straight forward generalization of the same effects. A lot of things become very clear.***
If's and could's. Why don't you extend your hypothesis into making experimental predictions? Science doesn't get all hooked up into the theoretical meaningfulness of each and every term. It is often argued that some terms are only useful mathematical fictions (etc). The key, in my opinion, is 'hooking' mathematical terms to physical observables and showing by experiment that you actually have a identified a meaningful term that has predictive power. For example, you should show that Higgs particle (which is theorized by the standard model to impute mass to particles) is a certain mass weight based on your hypothesis (or show that the Higgs doesn't exist, but that has empirical implications with the standard model that you should be able to explain). The point is that unless you want to throw pencils at the ceiling in the dark, you have no way if your pencil is sticking in the ceiling or has fallen on a pillow. Theory coherence is not enough to establish correctness of a new model (despite what some string theorists will tell you).
***Motion is well defined as "time" is not a coordinate of the geometry. But a problem exists: clocks do not measure "time".***
What do they measure, the temperature outside?
***The idea that they do is the confusion that leads to the conflict between quantum physics and relativity! The static nature of Einstein's picture (pointed out by Aurino) is the basic reason for his theory of General Relativity and the philosophical discussion about the nature of time (which Harv pointed out necessitate this kind of thinking) becomes entirely moot.***
Dick, GR folks say they need to treat time as a dimension in order to account for the theory. You know more than them? You need to validate your model with actual predictions that hold a lot of water before you can start rewriting the theories of physics. And, even before that you need some experimental results. Just theorizing and making coherent models that 'explain' QM and GR is not enough. You are just one guy and you are probably not enough of an expert in QM and GR to be able to even know if you have accounted for all the necessary discrepancies. Heck, I've encountered people who test the experiments of GR theorists and they say that they don't understand GR well enough to answer questions about GR. How can you just assume that it is all that simple? It isn't.
***Now I know most all of that is far over everyone's head, but try thinking about it anyway.***
No one is enough of an expert in all these various fields to be able to say much. That's why experimental results are so important. They give indication what is the case and where to pour future effort. It's amazing the humility of leading scientists in the QM and GR related fields, they don't take it upon themselves to understand everything and certainly wouldn't think they came upon a resolution to these problems in any technical sense. Even physicist Julian Barbour who wrote the bold thesis "The End of Time" (a quantum cosmological look at the flow of time as being an illusion) was overall humble. He didn't say that his hypothesis was correct, but rather that an 'end of time' with a form of quantum eternalism was only becoming to be seen as a good possibility. This is a good example of the humility that I am talking about.
Warm regards, Harv