Thursday, December 30, 2010

Evangelicals Believe Jesus Died for our SIns

I disagree with the concept of Jesus dying for my sins. I am OK with it as a minor plot, but the Evangelicals make this issue central to their entire belief, and taken to extremes, it makes no sense at all.

I always believed that Christianity is all about trying be a good person. But I have been told that Evangelicals believe that it is not important to be a good person, but only accept that Jesus died for your sins. (Which when you think about it is actually a heck of a lot easier than my belief.) According to Evangelicals, once you have accepted Jesus, no matter what you do, it will be right and good. Even if it isn't really, and that's where the argument starts.

Yes it is very moving when someone makes a sacrifice for you. That's why it is a good story. But when you make this story the centre of your Christian faith, it no longer makes sense, and worse yet, it pushes out the true message of Christianity "Do unto others as they would do unto you."

How does this sacrifice stop making sense when you take it too literally?

To properly understand the concept of sacrifice, I am going to invent a fictional situation, where someone tried to shoot me, and my friend Bruce jumped in front of me, and was hit by the bullet, and died. Of course, this is all make believe, but I want to use this to illustrate a normal sacrifice. When Bruce sacrificed himself to save me, I was actually in danger. The danger was not caused by Bruce, either. Bruce really did put himself at risk and died trying to save me. And I really was saved, and lived happily ever after, and I was properly grateful for what he did.

Now let's look at the assertion that Jesus sacrificed himself to save me. How is Jesus' sacrifice different from Bruce's sacrifice?

With Bruce's sacrifice, my danger was real. In Jesus's sacrifice, there was no evidence of me being in danger. Also, I must accept that I am evil and I must accept that hell exists and that Jesus is going to send me there for not accepting his "sacrifice". (more of a threat than a sacrifice, actually)

Why was I bound for hell in the first place? According to the Born Again Christians, I am going to hell because Eve ate the apple of the tree of Knowledge, and after that crime, God has declared all her descendants to be evil. Furthermore, it does not matter if I am actually good, I'm going to hell anyway, unless Jesus sacrifices Himself to save all mankind, including the people who actually tortured and  killed him.

Unlike Jesus, Bruce had documentation to show he existed. A real sacrifice normally involves a real person, but in Jesus' case, he lived 2 thousand years ago, and even then, there is no solid evidence that he existed.

Bruce's sacrifice is a genuine example of Jesus's actual message  "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". It seems to me that Jesus's sacrifice is more like blackmail, according to the Evangelical interpretation.

Bruce's sacrifice was real in another sense. Bruce really did die. He did did not come back to life. Jesus only pretended to die, but came back to life, meaning Jesus was a tad inconvenienced, that is all.

So the actual expression would be more like: "Jesus was a tad inconvenienced to try to scare me with a threat of hellfire." And apparently I should show my gratefulness for this mercy by becoming an Evangelical.
Jesus' message was "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.", and it is the very opposite of the message we get from Evangelical fundamentalists like the wealthy  Pat Robertson and Jack Van Impe on TV.  They tell us  You are all evil because God made mankind that way, and Jesus died to save you from your sins."
The Evangelical interpretation of Christianity is inconsistent with the message Jesus gave us. If God was following his own golden rule, he would not create an evil mankind that needed to be saved. There are other ways to interpret the Bible that make far more sense.
Picture: The Evangelical version of the bible with modern day wording, from this blog:
http://www.atheistapologist.com/2010/06/abridged-reworded-story-of-jesus_04.html

8 comments:

  1. When I was among the Baptists, it was explained to me that the most important passage in the Bible was John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'

    One constantly sees this passage on church notice boards, highway billboards and, I've been told, it even appears on the packaging for the Tornado Fuel Saver. It summarizes the central tenet of evangelical faith: that Jesus Christ died for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice, and all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood.

    Well, I have since fallen from grace, and now believe that the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ is about as efficacious as the Tornado Fuel Saver.

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  2. From reading about the Tornado on the link you gave, it actually cut down on gas mileage.

    I checked some of the other product reviews at the same blog. One was beam type wiper blades. He was not too impressed at first, but when the snow came, upgraded his review.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting survey published by the Pew Forum yesterday. It analyzes the religious composition of the new (post mid-terms) U.S. Congress.

    It has long been axiomatic that anyone who is a declared atheist (like S.E. Cupp ;-) stands little chance of being elected to Congress.

    The Pew study reveals that 0.0% of Congressmen and Senators say they are unaffiliated - in stark contrast to the 16.1% of U.S. adults who have no religious affiliation.

    www.pewforum.org/Government/Faith-on-the-Hill--The-Religious-Composition-of-the-112th-Congress.aspx

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  4. Unaffiliated are the most underrepresented group. I suspect the political reality is that you do not pick up any voter base by declaring yourself atheist. And I suspect that you don't commit political suicide by declaring any given religious affiliation. Can it be that religious people are more tolerant of other religions than they are of atheism? They'd better, with over 40,000 religions.

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  5. The one thing that we know is the bible has been interpreted over and over in many languages and sometimes there are not words like the original and some is lost or changed. We have the 10 Commandments as our guide and Jesus life to help us be better and love unconditionally like God (Jesus) loves us. That means do not worry about others peoples sins, only your own. It is really simple.

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