February 13, 2020 at 12:12 pm #321987
Jesus suffered and died on the cross for me. We all know it. But what, exactly, does that mean? Why did he need to die? What did that do for me?
The answers to that are convoluted and confusing, but I think I can simplify it. God cannot abide sin. To be forgiven for sin requires two things of us. There must be atonement (the price to be paid) and repentance (asking for forgiveness). Repentance is easy, but atonement is a little more difficult. A price must be paid to atone for the sin. And that price is blood. Specifically, the blood of the innocent; those without sin.
In the early days, before Jesus the Christ (it always annoys me when people use “Christ” like a last name. It was a title, not a name), that price was paid by the blood of animals, who were innocent because they were incapable of sin. This creates several obvious issues.
First, Americans today have it far better than most people throughout all of history. On average they are housed and clothed and fed pretty well. But even today, how many Americans do you think could actually afford to do regular animal sacrifices? How many sheep could you afford to buy a year, every year, to atone for your sins? Take that number, reduce it to zero and then halve it to get the number the average person back then could afford. So this atonement was likely to be made by entire communities rather than individuals, but still those with money have always bitched that they had to pay when those without did not, so even as a community effort it would have been problematic.
More importantly, though, bloody animal sacrifice is a primitive practice, frowned upon by civilized people. As the culture advanced religions requiring blood sacrifice began to die out and those who still practiced it must have been shunned by those around them, even persecuted. To imagine what people must have thought of those still practicing blood sacrifice we have only to look back to the 1980’s and remember the disgust Christians had when discussing the imagined Satanists of the Satanic Panic performing those very same rituals (irony is usually lost on these people).
So why did Jesus need to die for my sins? He didn’t. He needed to die for the religion. In order to survive the religion needed to transition away from blood sacrifice. Fortunately there were prophecies of a savior who would come. This savior, being without sin AND human, would be a final blood sacrifice, paying the debt once and for all and allowing the church to modernize by disposing of the unsavory and primitive practices of the past. And it didn’t even require an actual sacrifice, just the idea of one. The story was enough. And, given that nobody remembered the sacrifice until decades later, it almost certainly was just a story, created by the founders of the Catholic church as a means of transitioning the religion into a new era; a way to modernize the religion without technically “changing” any of the beliefs.
But lets assume that the sacrifice was real, made to a real God. What would that mean for us? God sacrificed himself, to himself, to save us from himself so that he could become capable of forgiving us. So, God did it, to God, for God, to save us from God because that’s how God decided it should be. How is any of that for me? The sacrifice was to pay the price God demanded so that God would be able to forgive us for doing the things God does not want us to do. But it’s more than that. It’s much, much worse than that.
Ask any Christian if it is possible for anyone other than Jesus to live a life completely free of sin. I have never, ever heard one say, “Why yes, that’s completely possible. I, myself, have never thought about boobies or spanked it or anything!” They will tell you that it is impossible to live a life without sin; that only Jesus was able to do it because he was perfect (which is a whole other contradiction. Sin is imperfection. If Jesus was perfect then it would have been impossible for him to sin, so he was never truly “tempted” and living without sin was a foregone conclusion, not some miraculous feat). So if it’s impossible to never, ever sin, then that means that God sacrificed God to God to pay the price God demanded so that God could forgive us for not doing…that which is impossible for us to do. Essentially the Jesus’ sacrifice saved from the sin of existing.February 13, 2020 at 12:42 pm #321989@citizenschallengev3Participant
Jesus suffered and died on the cross for me. We all know it. But what, exactly, does that mean? Why did he need to die?
Ahh, because his dad was a sadistic prick?February 13, 2020 at 12:44 pm #321990@citizenschallengev3Participant
Or because some guys thought it made a great story,
that might help them control those growing masses of people who’d rather be told what to do than think for themselves?February 13, 2020 at 1:33 pm #321994
Quick answer. I haven’t read your post yet.
Sacrifice goes way back. Jewish tradition started sometime around when human sacrifice was being questioned. I believe that’s what the Isaac story is about, God saying, “hey, let’s sacrifice goats now”. Jordan Peterson, who I don’t like, has a good take on sacrifices. He compares to the modern use of the word, sacrificing your time in your youth so you can be more comfortable later. Jesus came in as the ultimate sacrifice. The Jewish leadership was making poor people sacrifice stuff once a year, and it was becoming a way to oppress them. So, some rabbis made up a story that God sent down himself and tricked those leaders into sacrificing him, which took away their power. That’s the Richard Carrier explanation, based on Biblical scholars.February 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm #322007@halsterParticipant
What makes no sense is you believe it.February 13, 2020 at 5:36 pm #322009February 13, 2020 at 11:55 pm #322043
JC, the anointed saviour and that’s exactly what Jesus Christ means. His crucifixion was to be the one to end all blood sacrifices (referring to the Jewish sacrifices, of course), but oddly enough, it seems like people sacrifice their lives, their spouses, and even their children for the cult. This is my thing about it though, if JC is part of the 3 in 1 (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) then that would mean the crucifixion is a murder-suicide. That is, God the father did nothing to stop the deadly abuse and God the son just took, allowing himself to die, yet the real abuse of the human, degrading them to the position of sinner, who must turn their life over to god and telling them they so bad that someone names Jesus had to die for their sins, so that they could receive, albeit a delusion, everlasting life. A child, in a Xian home, is being told from birth, that there is an invisible man watching him/her, and if s/he doesn’t be good, not only will a raven come and pluck out his eyes for not being obedient to mama and daddy (Proverbs 30:17) but also s/he’ll burn in a fiery pit for all eternity. Guess they forgot that that myth came from a perpetual garbage dump called Ghennah. All sounds like child abuse to me, yet adults continues to see that father figure into adulthood and it becomes Stockholm syndrome. As Bishop Spong said, the whole idea of hell was created by the Church to control people. This idea that a mythical being died for people is also a means to control people.
As for living completely free of sin, that which has been deemed bad by said deity, is nearly impossible, so it’s a revolving cycle, much like abuse- sin, confession, forgiveness, repeat. Almost everything is a sin, so you’re beaten into the head with the idea of sin since birth, so much so some can become afraid to do anything. It’s pure psychological abuse.February 14, 2020 at 10:55 am #322085
Most of what you two said here is addressed in what I just posted for the next installment, in Lauston’s case, in this installment. It would appear we three share many of the same thoughts in this area. In the next one I totally went off the rails comparing a relationship with God to an abusive relationship, so I was a little taken aback when I then checked this thread and found the same thing in the responses.
…the real abuse of the human, degrading them to the position of sinner, who must turn their life over to god and telling them they so bad that someone names Jesus had to die for their sins, so that they could receive, albeit a delusion, everlasting life.
This is a little different angle than I had ever considered, that Jesus had to die because we were so terrible as human beings. Yet it is a running theme in the Bible that people are less than garbage and only God can give them worth. I often think and mull over things like this, usually having to write them down (hence the posts) to actually materialize my thoughts on them. I think this one is going to be in the back of my mind as I am mulling these things from now until I mull no more.February 14, 2020 at 4:59 pm #322128February 14, 2020 at 8:26 pm #322136
@widdershins I very much see the crucifixion and “Christ died for our sins” bit as abuse. Pretty much all of it is abusive and the worst part of all the abuse is that they use is it to perpetuate abuse- “God will take care of him”(this one can keep women and children in abusive situations), “Divorce is a sin” (keeping women in abusive relationships), and my favourite (not) is turning the tables and telling the victim of abuse that “Jesus died for you”. Oh and one slave owners used on slaves to impose the Xian religion on them- “Be a good slave and you’ll get your freedom in heaven” (keep in mind Christ dying for them was more than likely in there somewhere). That very statement told to a slave is the epitome of using religion to perpetuate abuse. Similar went on with Native American children in Carlisle Schools too.February 14, 2020 at 8:28 pm #322137
@Write4U very much so. You say it short and sweet concerning religion in general. Islam has it too.February 18, 2020 at 10:35 am #322453
These conversations are not going at all like I had intended. The point was to show that these things didn’t make sense, but I forgot that a lot of us likely have old scars from our religious experiences, myself included. Still, I have some people in the conversations who don’t join in very often, so I’ll keep going if I can think of any more that fit the original criteria, things that don’t make any sense. It is actually getting me to contemplate these issues from angles I had never considered before, which I always enjoy.February 18, 2020 at 11:09 am #322455
Of course they don’t make sense if you only look at how they are described today from an outsider’s perspective. I thought you wanted to dig into them a bit?February 18, 2020 at 1:20 pm #322476
What I was trying to impart is that they don’t make sense if you do dig into them. Everything about the sacrifice of Jesus, for instance, was for God. None of it was for me. It was what God needed in order to be able to forgive me for doing what he arbitrarily decided I shouldn’t do, which was also impossible not to do. It only makes sense if you don’t question it.
But if you have another angle, by all means, do share. I’m loving the new angles I’m getting here that I had never considered.February 18, 2020 at 1:51 pm #322479
But if you have another angle, by all means, do share.
I already gave that. It doesn’t make sense if this was presented by modern scientists as some sort of solution to our problems. But this is what some goat herders came up with when they were getting screwed on one end by the Romans and on the other end by their own priests at a time when there was no science and all news was fake and indoctrination wasn’t a conspiracy theory, it was just what everyone did.
You have to take all that into account. Then, it became part of culture, and governments with armies enforced it. They have had to get increasingly sophisticated to overcome modern education. That’s a little more complicated. I certainly can’t explain it entirely.
- This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Lausten.
- This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Lausten.
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