Monday, January 16, 2006

#7: Atonement

Jesus “paid” for our sins? Even assuming we are unworthy of God’s love, can anyone other than ourselves accept moral responsible for what we are have done? It is a foundation of Christianity, yet morally corrupt. Even our legal system does not allow the substitution of guilt. We can pay the monetary debt for someone else, but never the criminal guilt. Why not? Because it doesn’t make moral sense.


Anonymous said...

You're missing the point. You must take responsibility for your own sins. If you don't take personal responsibility, how can you truthfully repent? The realization that you are capable of moral corruption, yet the decision to change course is up to you.

The reason Jesus lived was to teach everyone that we should walk an upright path. Paul made it clear that not everyone could walk a straight line and focus 100 percent on God, but Jesus' sacrifice allowed us to stand spotless before the father.

Perhaps Jesus' death on the cross was partially symbolic of a purification ritual. Jews could understand that sacrifice, and it also signified that Gentiles could come before the Lord.

My belief is personal. I'm not pressured to be anything I am not inherently. My faith only helps my life. I don't pass judgment on anyone concerning their faith.

Dave said...

First, I’d like to thank you for posting on my blog! I really do appreciate it. I hope my responses do not discourage you from posting further.

A couple things come to mind:

I think we are agreeing here, at least one this point:. You said “You must take responsibility for your own sins.” I said ”…can anyone other than ourselves accept moral responsible for what we are have done?” Same thing, right? So what point am I missing? It does not make logical, moral, or ethical sense for anyone, let alone Jesus, to pay the price for your sins.

Yet Christians are not only forgiven for their sins, the sins have no long term consequences at all. For you see, a Christian earns eternal bliss not from deeds, but by merely buying into the biblical terrorism. Worship Jesus, live forever. Deny Jesus, suffer for eternity. I have yet to hear a good explanation of how this is different from the mob or a thug holding a gun to your head.

Let me give an example by personalizing it. Person A, let’s call him Dave, is an upstanding citizen. Other than a rare speeding ticket, he obeys the law. Doesn’t even cheat on his taxes. He gives to charity. He is the best father and husband he can be. He earned a degree and holds a respectable job in an important industry. Dave loves God. Dave loves his family. People think he’s a nice guy. He was a Christian, but based on study and prayer has decided that the concept of Hell is repulsive and that the Bible does not represent God. Dave believes that even though Jesus was an incredible man, the son of God, and an example of what man can be, Jesus is not our savior. Dave has decided that if God has the power to let any of his creations spend eternity in Heaven, He will let them all. Suppose Dave acquires terminal cancer and will die soon. Although he loved life, Dave is excited to finally discover what is on “the other side”, and looks forward to meet the God he loves so much. He dies peacefully.

Person B, let’s call him Jim, is not so upstanding. In fact, he is on death row. Jim lies, cheats, and steals. Jim raped small children. Jim murdered many people after slow torture. Jim has AIDs, and has transmitted it to many of his victims. Jim abandoned his family and children. Jim has spent much of his life in and out of prison, never reforming, and always recommitting horrible crimes whenever he got out. He finally got the death penalty after a string of murders, all involving children. Just prior to being strapped in the electric chair, a priest explains to Jim that unless he accepts Jesus, he will rot in hell. Jim, even though he is desperate and terrified, honestly repents and accepts Jesus as his savior. The switch is thrown.

Dave and Jim died at the same time. The Biblical message is clear. Jim will be bathed in the glorious light of God, and will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus by his side. Dave, on the other hand, will be roasting in agony. Not for a minute or two as the flesh burns off his body. Nope. Your loving Christian God has created a place for people like Dave so special that time has no meaning. Dave will be in horrible agony for ETERNITY. A billion years from now, Dave will have hardly even started his agonizing, miserable existence. And Jim will have hardly even started his glorious friendship with Jesus. And you.

Two thirds of the earths population are non-Christian. Dave will be in Hell with BILLIONS of human beings.

Does this make sense to you? Is it just, fair, or reasonable by any stretch of the imagination? To me, it is beyond absurd, yet is the very foundation of Christianity.

Dave said...

One more point, Anonymous. You said “I don't pass judgment on anyone concerning their faith.” If you are a Christian, you certainly do. You may not verbalize your judgment, but the bible certainly does. And the bible is the “Word of God” that you have professed your belief in. If the bible is judgmental, so are you!

If you were a silent member of the KKK, would you not be judgmental of blacks? If you were a silent Nazi, would you not be judgmental of Jews? If you are a silent Christian, you still believe in the damnation of every non-Christian to hell.

Even though I am judgmental of Christianity, I am judging your belief, not your qualifications to be with God. I will never tell anyone that I think they deserve to go to hell, nor will I worship a god that would send a single one of his creations to a hell he created. Never.

This reminds me of something a family member said during her trip to the Holy Land: “Our guide is a Jew and his knowledge of the Old Testament and why things happened and where has really opened my heart and eyes for the people of Israel! It's now very clear why we have to defend Israel and how biblical that is! The people here are beautiful and love us.” Now think about this. She is learning biblical history from a Jew, and professes her new found love for them. Yet these are people that flatly deny that Jesus is our savior. These are people, that according to the bible, are condemned, as I am, to spend eternity suffering in hell.

So, Anonymous, do you know any non-Christians? Do they know that you are one? Then they know that you believe they are not only unworthy of meeting God, they deserve to go to hell. Nice.