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Was Jesus' Sacrifice So Great?


PaulS
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I am an Ex-Christian who doesn't believe that Jesus was an atoning sacrifice on our behalf.

 

With that out of the way, I wonder if anyone has anything thing to relate about a question I used to ponder as a Christian.

 

Devoted people were always going on about how great Christ's sacrifice was. But the way I saw it (but was too scared to admit it) was that a relatively short 30 years on earth for a deity that came from heaven eternal and knew that's where He would be returning too after 24 hrs of painful human suffering, didn't seem to me to be all that great a sacrifice. For one, He had a taste of heaven already so He knew that a brief experience on earth would pale into comparison. But also, there were/are humans who go through suffering immensely worse than a whipping & crucifixion (even Mel Gibson's version) - for instance prisoners of war who were starved to death over months and months, tortured, abused, etc. To me it seemed their sacrifice of being prepared to defend their families and fellow countrymen to the death (and indeed doing so, slowly and painfully) was much more of a sacrifice.

 

Don't get me wrong, any death like this would be a painful, miserable end, and to that extent I'm sure death was not good for Jesus. But was it really the greatest sacrifice of all time?

 

Any comments?

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Don't get me wrong, any death like this would be a painful, miserable end, and to that extent I'm sure death was not good for Jesus. But was it really the greatest sacrifice of all time?

 

Any comments?

 

I think it is obvious and apparent that to some it was 'the greatest sacrifice of all time'. While you and i may not now believe that such a sacrifice is significant enough to bestow on it such a title, there was and often is a time in an individual journey that an individual is so burdened and incapacitated in guilt for his/her deeds that believing thus is sometimes enough for that one to forgive themselves and move on with their life and in many cases a more positive oriented one..

 

A strong belief, while it may not be true, can move one to great personal and group accomplishments as history may often testify.Of course, it can also move one to great error and destruction. Yet i would think that while human reasoning would agree that this sacrifice, while it certainly cannot be the worst death one can imagine, has been historically 'the greatest sacrifice of all time'.

 

Just looking from a side angle,

Joseph

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Paul, I have pondered that question myself, and come to, as yourself, that Jesus' experience was far from the greatest sacrifice any human ever made.

 

Such things as that, among others, played a big part in my questioning the religious traditions and doctrines in even my childhood. There were just too many things not true, that it was demanded be accepted as true, despite overwhelming evididence to the contrary.

 

One such falsity connected to Jesus' sacrifice is that taught of how few people would ever sacrifice their life, die for, even someone they knew to be "good people" and that they loved, and that none would do so for "unworthy" people that were strangers. Even as a child, I knew that wasn't true. I'd seen too much evidence to the contary, in having seen and read of so many herioc individuals that had done just that, and how many have and still are willing to place themselves in harm's way, willing to face death, for others they don't even know. I've even considered that given the opportunty to "save" the whole world by willingly submitting to a brief period of torture and death, quite a few people would do so. And that's without even considering agreeing to do so when also knowing that death is not going to really be final, they will be brought back to life, even better than they are now, in just a couple days.

 

Neither could I or have I accepted that there is some great virtue in holding one's beliefs, actually things you have been TOLD by others so strongly and without question, as to be immune to considering evidence to the contrary, as to be willing to die for those beliefs. In Christianity, Jesus is held up as the example of that for us, His willingness to submit to death for holding onto His beliefs, for being "faithful" in his faith in those beleifs, and so the foundation for the supposed holiness of martyrdom for Christ, for God.

 

How often have we heard that, well, while I don't agree with his/her beliefs, I have to give him/her a lot of credit for how fully he/she believes what they believe, and that there is some admirable virtue simply in "the strength of his/her convictions?"

 

How strongly one hold any belief has absolutely no bearing or relevance to whether that belief is true, correct, or not! One can hold so strongly to a belief as to willingly die for it, and STILL be dead wrong about it.

 

All we really have to do to see the absurdity of that is look at not only history but very recent history, to find plentiful demonstrations of the absurdity of that idea. All we need to discredit that idea as valid is remember the events of 9/9/11.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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This was a question that caused me to keep the church at an arms length for years.

 

I never fully understood conceptually what "Jesus died for my sins " meant. I did know that the traditional meaning made no sense to me. My release came when I realized that Martin Luther King died for my sins too.

 

MLK died for the sins of the generations before me because of their views on slavery and later Jim Crow.

 

MLK died for the sins of my generation so that my generation would learn that the attitudes of my parents generation were wrong.

 

MLK died so my children grew up seeing people of color as just another person.

 

I think Jesus did the same thing for his generation and subsequently ours. He sacrificed himself so the people of his generation and after didn't make the same mistakes ma thede by generations that came him. The new covenant. If folks had listened we wouldn't have gone through slavery or womans issues. And we wouldn't be discussing the treatment of GLBT people.

 

Was Jesus sacrifice great? He died, he knew he was going to die and accepted it because he knew it was the right thing to do.

 

steve

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Once upon a time, I had the same questions. I no longer believe in atonement theology. I also do not believe that Jesus "came down" from "heaven", or that he "knew he was God". Therefore, he could not have had a taste of heaven nor could he have known what was going to happen after the crucifixion (sp?)

 

I do not think this was the greatest sacrifice of all time. What I think, is that Jesus felt strongly about his message of our interconnectedness with God and with one another, and that he was willing to die to spread the word. He had to know the message would get him in trouble with the powers that were, but he did what he felt he had to do to spread his message. That's love, that's compassion, that's courage. Wish I had courage of conviction to that extent.

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Thanks for those responses - all make sense.

 

Just a little further context. I take the view that the bible is a man-made document and one should appreciate the writings for the culture and context in which they were written (but I'm sure the authors genuinely saw God as the way they wrote about God). My Christian sister believes the bible is 'God-breathed' and although not entirelya literalist, she's not much into reading metaphor into the bible or accepting anything other than the words of the bible are God's actual words/thoughts).

 

Anyhow, I was pointing out all the attrocities attributed to God & his commands, in particlular the 12 or so instances of mass genocide (man/woman/child/animal of entire tribes) but also quite a few others, and her only response was that nothing was as atrocious as what they did to her saviour.

 

I agree with you, Joseph, that it is obvious and apparent that to some it was 'the greatest sacrifice of all time', and that whilst we may not now believe that such a sacrifice is significant enough to bestow on it such a title, there was and often is a time in an individual journey that an individual is so burdened and incapacitated in guilt for his/her deeds that believing thus is sometimes enough for that one to forgive themselves and move on with their life and in many cases a more positive oriented one..(although my sister has held onto this for about 25 years and not moved on, I would say). But know that I wasn't trying at all to belittle or ridicule those who believe this. I was simplly interested if others had thoughts like mine considering the 'greatness' of the sacrifice compared to other sacrifices many have made.

 

I really liked all the responses, and I loved murmsk's comparison of MLK sacrificng himself for our sins.

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Neon, if any Christian thinks that Anne Frank or anyone else for that matter, are going to hell, because they're not Christians. Well, people who believe that are not Christians. The I AM, Brahman, Tao (whatever you want to call it) is not limited to a first century, illiterate Jew who was inspired by the heart of his Hebrew scriptures. It's in every manifestation of the Divine Presence. It doesn't care of you're a Christian or not.

 

Huston Smith, in his book The World Religions, does point out regardless of what "really" happened, the event of his crucifixion -- which most scholars accept happened, allowed people of that time and place in history to believe that the Divine was present in their lives and that it had power associated with it. I agree with Smith the bodily sacrifice strays from the central point of the meaning of the resurrection. I happen to believe with Marcus Borg too that the resurrection was a transformative experience and not bodily.

 

Anne Frank, Gandhi, MLK, Malcolm X and a score of others did the same thing in their own way at their particular point in time.

 

That said, it is a "great" sacrifice because of the significant power it had to allow a transformation of Western Civilization. Good or bad is not the issue because that's what you get when humans are involved. Both sides of the same coin. We would not even be having this conversation if the sacrifice was not "great". Gandhi, Malcolm X, and MLK did what they did to some extent because of Jesus' sacrifice as they admit. As a Muslim, Malcolm had his opinion:

 

"They charged Jesus with sedition. Didn't they do that? They said he was against Caesar. They said he was discriminating because he told his disciples, "Go not the way of the gentiles, but rather go to the lost sheep." He discriminated. Don't go near the Gentiles, go to the lost sheep. Go to the oppressed. Go to the exploited. Go to the downtrodden. Go to the people who don't know who they are, who are lost from the knowledge of themselves and who are strangers in a land that is not theirs. Go to these people. Go to the slaves. Go to the second-class citizens. Go to the ones who are suffering the brunt of Caesar's brutality. And if Jesus were here in America today, he wouldn't be going to the white man. The white man is the oppressor. He would be going to the oppressed. He would be going to the humble. He would be going to the lowly. He would be going to the rejected and the despised. He would be going to the so-called American negro." from a speech in Los Angeles on May 5, 1962

 

MLK, well, I don't need to tell anyone about where he stood on Jesus.

 

Gandhi:

 

"What, then, does Jesus mean to me? To me, he was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had. To his believers, he was God’s only begotten Son.* Could the fact that I do or do not accept this belief make Jesus have any more or less influence in my life? Is all the grandeur of his teaching and of his doctrine to be forbidden to me? I cannot believe so.

 

To me, it implies a spiritual birth. My interpretation, in other words, is that in Jesus’ own life is the key of his nearness to God; that he expressed, as no other could, the spirit and will of God. It is in this sense that I see him and recognize him as the Son of God.

 

from "What Jesus Means to Me" published in The National Review in 1941.

 

So in a sense, in terms of our story as Westerners, we should say that the sacrifice was great - even the greatest. It literally divided our sense of history - for good or bad. Even if we reject it we think in those terms.

 

I think that Jesus IS "resurrected" in the fight against oppression today in this country and in the world. I think that's why so many in China are taking the experience so seriously. I think that that's why sensible and rational people in the church are standing up for the GLBT community and women's and children's rights. I think that power of what really it's all about it in action. Sure, you don't have to believe in God blah blah blah, you can't prove it blah blah blah but that's not the point I'm making at all. I'm not talking about close-minded, racist, bigoted, sexist religion. The point is the Spirit of Jesus is what matters and that is not about being theistic or atheistic or agnostic for me. The point is like Spong says is to be fully human. To me that means to put yourself out there for human dignity and respect and love and joy and compassion and justice. That is my I AM.

Edited by matt67
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So, this is a list of definitions of the term "great". How do we define this term "greatest" if we want to ask if Jesus' sacrifice was the greatest? Can we say that it doesn't qualify in the minds and hearts of the world under say definition 5, or that people who do believe in a more conservation fashion don't apply Definition 8, 9, 10, and 11 to Jesus. I know we have our opinions, so if you don't believe, it wasn't the greatest and not significant. To those who believe there are various levels of what they accept or don't accept.

 

 

 

Very large in size.

 

2.
Larger in size than others of the same kind.

 

3.
Large in quantity or number:
A great throng awaited us.
See Synonyms at
.

 

4.
Extensive in time or distance:
a great delay.

 

5.
Remarkable or outstanding in magnitude, degree, or extent:
a great crisis.

 

6.
Of outstanding significance or importance:
a great work of art.

 

7.
Chief or principal:
the great house on the estate.

 

8.
Superior in quality or character; noble:
"For he was great, ere fortune made him so"
(John Dryden).

 

9.
Powerful; influential:
one of the great nations of the West.

 

10.
Eminent; distinguished:
a great leader.

 

11.
Grand; aristocratic.

 

12.
Informal
Enthusiastic:
a great lover of music.

 

13.
Informal
Very skillful:
great at algebra.

 

14.
Informal
Very good; first-rate:
We had a great time at the dance.

 

15.
Being one generation removed from the relative specified. Often used in combination:
a great-granddaughter.

 

16.
Archaic
Pregnant.

 

n.

 

Also, my undertand of the meaning of the word "atonement" in (most) Christian theology is a the reconciliation of man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Jesus.

 

Having studied New Thought, particularly the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, Ernest Holmes, Raymond Charles Barker, Joel Goldsmith, and Emmet Fox, the word is used as the state in which the attributes of God (true human selfhood, divine thought, transcendent, perfect Wholeness that, in Its infinite inclusivity, harmoniously embraces all seeming opposites) and these are exemplified in man. According to these New Thought practices God is not "personal" and basically the"Infinite Intelligence" or the totality of real things - . We're a part of it and when we "align" our thought to it, we hook into it so to speak like in The Matrix movies.

 

Holmes' Science of Mind is great read. He and those in Religious Science, which I actively practiced for years right after college, see the atonement of Jesus as the beginning of a new covenant of thought. Jesus was at a specific point in the history of man's evolution of thought. Religious Science at least the ones I knew, thought of themselves as Christians in this way, not in the traditional way. They don't believe in the literal resurrection. They don't worship Jesus and rarely used the Bible, they did refer to other texts, but mostly focused on The Science of Mind and other things Holmes wrote, as well as writings of other Religious Scientists.

 

So, the atonement is significant for them in a certain interpretation.

 

Even if it is seen differently, isn't it then significant and when compared to....what?...the greatest?

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I am an Ex-Christian who doesn't believe that Jesus was an atoning sacrifice on our behalf...But was it really the greatest sacrifice of all time?

 

Jesus was one of thousands of Jewish peasants murdered by crucifixion by arguably, the most tolerant of all ancient civilizations of his time.

 

So, the question I always had was what was it about these Jews that totally pissed folks off?

 

I think they had the misfortune of being the fundamentalists of their time when the value of human life was at an all time low.

 

As far as G-d sending Jesus as an atonement for the sins of mankind? Well, it most definitely wasn't a Jewish idea. Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac? In Jewish Schul, the lesson from that story is not that Abraham was obedient (as is taught in Christian Sunday School), but that G-d disapproves of human sacrifice - unlike every other people-group of the era. So, why would G-d violate the thing that made Jews different from everyone else; the value of human life? The very notion that G-d would require human sacrifice to absolve mankind from sin is a bit ironic, right?

 

Sometimes I wonder that early non-Jewish Christians, in an attempt to distance themselves from the hated Jews, thought of the one thing that would be the most abhorrent to their religious sensibilites; a G-d that would require human sacrifice! Then, to add insult to injury, they come up with three gods in one. I mean, our prayer each morning is "Hear, O Israel: the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is ONE!"

 

Nah, I'm not that cynical. I'm sure it was all an accident.

 

NORM

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Something I think relevant to some arguments....whatever Jesus or any other actually suffered in making any sacrifice, of their life or anything else, is in itself what it is, no greater nor less than the next person that might do the same..

 

What was at stake, what was accomplished by it, is another matter entirely. Was the actual sacrifice a man, His suffering any greater, His sacrifice made greater if it were to save many people, that for one that did so for just one or a few other people?

 

Jenell

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Norm you asked a good question about what it was about the Jews that pissed people off. They weren't the most technogically advanced bunch in the region, they're not known for their philosophy and culture like the Greeks. I think that they got away from the tradition mode of religious belief - from a polytheist outlook to a monotheist outlook - thatdde them unique. Maybe that was the reason. They had no god whose image in stone could be broken so easily by an invading army. That seems to be what held them together even if they did not necessarily get along with other tribes of their group. Of course the reasons are way more complex.

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Norm you asked a good question about what it was about the Jews that pissed people off. They weren't the most technogically advanced bunch in the region, they're not known for their philosophy and culture like the Greeks. I think that they got away from the tradition mode of religious belief - from a polytheist outlook to a monotheist outlook - thatdde them unique. Maybe that was the reason. They had no god whose image in stone could be broken so easily by an invading army. That seems to be what held them together even if they did not necessarily get along with other tribes of their group. Of course the reasons are way more complex.

 

It could also be the fact that they went around the Judean hills smiting this and smiting that in the name of "the one true G-d." That would go a long way toward pissing off the neighbors. I think their "rep" preceded them when the Romans landed.

 

Then, there are all these prophets claiming to be Moschiac running around threatening to restore the Kingdom of David, etc...

 

The die was cast, I think.

 

I think the entire history of the Jewish people (my ancestors) is an object lesson in the dangers of religious fundamentalism.

 

WE learned from our mistakes!!!

 

NORM

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It could be easy to get the mistaken idea, from how I think and feel on matters of Jesus, what His purpose and role whas, whether or not He really died a physical death or ressurected, that I disregard Jesus, which is far from true. It is only if one must attach all that other stuff to Him and who He was, and is to me, that could be so.

I still love the same Jesus I was first introduced to as a child, the wonderful spirit person that can be with me now, always, that I came to know through accounts of His words and deeds during His phhysical life here on Earth. I never accepted the He died for my sisn that I was somehow guilty of even before I was born, and demanded I say and do certain things to get Him to assure my place in heaven instead of hell after I died. They traumatized me as young child with that, trying to press this "other Jesus" upon me, this Jesus of anger and wrath that was coming back to kill everybdoy that didn't do those things.

I gladly tear down the stuff layered upon my 'real Jesus', for I think He'd no more want anyone to love Him or worship Him or teach about Him something other than who He really was/is.

As I've grown older, and grown spirutally and in knowledge, I've come to view His death and ressurection as an inner transformational event, that he might be as our "first-born of many" elder brother. I think the Christian religion lost its foundations when that was lost under the physical literal stories of events.

 

Jenell

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So, the question I always had was what was it about these Jews that totally pissed folks off?

 

NORM

 

Personally I wonder if the Roman Pork Patriots lobby group had anything to do with the politics of the time. :)

 

But seriously, I obviously don't know why the Romans occupied Israel, but I do think Jesus was executed as a result of him being a 'troublemaker', who threatend to upset the status quo. I imagine he wasn't alone in that category. I accept his death as a sacfice for others where presumably Jesus knew his actions were pushing the envelope and the end result was certainly the risk of execution, yet he was prepared to die for his beliefs. Of course, that might not have been Jesus' plan at all either and perhaps he just overstepped the mark with his brain-snap at the Temple, resulting in a regrettful arrest and execution. Oh for a time machine.

 

I am pretty convinced that Jesus was an amazing bloke, who set hearts on fire, but whom legend grew around after his death and that the general portrayal of Jesus as God, God's son, the Messiach, etc, would simply gobsmack Jesus if he was to return today.

 

I appreciate your responses. It's not that I think Jesus' death is insignificant compared to other people who have died for a cause/belief, it's just that Christians like my sister, seem to adopt this view that it was the grandest, bravest, most painful, tortuous event that anybody could go through and that is why God organised it. Clearly to me, that just doesn't stack up against the pain and suffering many others have endured for similiar reasons (beliefs, withholding valuable information during wartime, etc).

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But seriously, I obviously don't know why the Romans occupied Israel...

 

My best guess is strategery and commerce. The Judean Hills are prime real estate with a birds-eye view of those pesky warring tribes of the ancient Persians. Also, the Roman diet included lots of gourmet food that required "imported" olive oil. I don't think either thing on its own would be enough to cause the emperor to covet Judea, but the combination of these things might have. They were probably ignorant of the internal reform movements going on within Judaism at the time, so all the messiah movements (and there were many of them - Jesus' group garnishing all the press for some reason), I imagine, took them by surprise.

 

 

but I do think Jesus was executed as a result of him being a 'troublemaker', who threatend to upset the status quo.

 

Perhaps, but you would think that a peasant challenge, at the level recorded in the Gospels, to the Roman god-king would have secured at least glancing mention in the meticulously kept records of the Roman government of the time.

 

I can't prove it, but the more I dig into the history of the times, the more convinced I am that Jesus is a fictional character meant to represent an idealized Moschiac for the non-Jewish converts to early Christianity.

 

I imagine he wasn't alone in that category. I accept his death as a sacfice for others where presumably Jesus knew his actions were pushing the envelope and the end result was certainly the risk of execution, yet he was prepared to die for his beliefs. Of course, that might not have been Jesus' plan at all either and perhaps he just overstepped the mark with his brain-snap at the Temple, resulting in a regrettful arrest and execution. Oh for a time machine.

 

I am pretty convinced that Jesus was an amazing bloke, who set hearts on fire, but whom legend grew around after his death and that the general portrayal of Jesus as God, God's son, the Messiach, etc, would simply gobsmack Jesus if he was to return today.

 

I appreciate your responses. It's not that I think Jesus' death is insignificant compared to other people who have died for a cause/belief, it's just that Christians like my sister, seem to adopt this view that it was the grandest, bravest, most painful, tortuous event that anybody could go through and that is why God organised it. Clearly to me, that just doesn't stack up against the pain and suffering many others have endured for similiar reasons (beliefs, withholding valuable information during wartime, etc).

 

As a writer of fiction, I depend on people becoming emotionally engaged with the protagonist / hero / heroine, and join the cause - whatever that may be.

 

My feelings on the whole thing is that I don't really care from where one gets his or her courage to fight the good fight - just as long as they somehow DO IT.

 

NORM

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As I recall, it wasn't the Romans determined to put Jesus to death, it was the Pharisees, the Jewish leaders that demanded his death.

The Roman court found no crime worthy of death.

There were slews of would-be Jewish messiahs wandering around, trying to convince others to join them in an uprising, and the Romans were certainly on the watch for them and really to smash any that looked serious. Jesus' ministery, however, gave no indication of being about a violent uprising. Actually it was a rather signficant uprising connected to one of these would-be messiah's that led to the smashing of the temple in 70 and the exile of remaining Jews from the region.

As for why Rome conquered Judah, for the same reasons it conquered most the rests of the middle east, Europe, and north Africa. Rome was a megalomaniac empire intent on ruling the world.

Of it having been actually Jewish leaders that sought and demanded Jesus' death, I've heard it observed, that they didn't kill Jesus becasue He claimed to be God, they killed Him becasue He told them that they weren't.

 

The main reason the Romans hated the Jews is the same reason they've been hated alsewhere in the world...their arrogant attitude of being "God's chosen/favored people", that they beleive priviledges them above others, by God Himself, and a refusal to submit meekly to the ruling powers of any other nation, out of their attitude they are under no power but God's.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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Perhaps, but you would think that a peasant challenge, at the level recorded in the Gospels, to the Roman god-king would have secured at least glancing mention in the meticulously kept records of the Roman government of the time.

 

 

Perhaps Norm it wasn't so much a peasant challenge, but rather one peasant who did his block at the Temple, which was the final straw for the religous leaders who probably had had a gutsful of these people who wanted to disrupt the status quo, who then co-opted Rome to execute him. I could imagine Pilot being quite happy to keep the Pharisees 'settled' by going along with the execution of just another peasant Jew, hence the lack of record. Your point about writing fiction actually lends this weight, I think, in that those who wrote about Jesus built it up to the point that we think Jesus was of more interest to Rome than he actually was.

 

 

I can't prove it, but the more I dig into the history of the times, the more convinced I am that Jesus is a fictional character meant to represent an idealized Moschiac for the non-Jewish converts to early Christianity.

 

NORM

 

I think that is a huge possibility Norm. Something not to rule out. Personally I think the stories about Jesus, stories which many will say were built on an oral history of Jesus, were written a little too soon after his death to be entirely fictional. But that's just my opinion. However if Jesus did physically exist, I would say there has definitely been exaggeration concerning who and what he was and did.

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I don’t think Jesus taught “atonement,” but a consistent lesson of universal compassion and love. In think the compassion and love provides the means for character change and the person to grow. I feel love can actually transform the sinner (I have a different take on sin and sinner, but it is not part of this thread) and allow him/her to overcome sin. I feel even if one does not feel compassion in action if they do the actions anyway it will become natural and they will feel the compassion. The character can be transformed as one who is hardened becomes softened, gentle or spiritual. Character is transformed. I feel the emphasis on suffering, death on the cross, and resurrection as atonement for sin is a great sound bite to sell plots in heaven or a seat in a pew, but distract from what Jesus actually taught. I feel it leads to ritual, ceremony and a group mentality of entitlement.

 

This philosophy I feel has made many of my fellow Christians self-righteous while they continue to sin or do wrong to others. They say Jesus took away all sins then why do we continue to bad mouth the devil. It seems to lead to obeying the laws of God or not obeying the laws of God, which humans can then decide and manipulate to their selfish purpose. One law seems to be that we have to accept Jesus as our savior. I don’t think this is true and that Jesus was a ransom or sacrifice paid for our sins. We can see that it can’t even stop my fellow Christians from doing wrong. I would say the bloody theology is to gain members and not so much to save one from him/herself.

 

Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.

 

At one ness or Atonement in my view is to transform and enlarge my personal consciousness and individual experience with everything in love. This seems to be basic to every mode of spiritual discernment, and every quest. The more we are aware of unity or a consciousness working in and through everything, especially within ourselves, the more God’s presence can replace prior limitations and disharmonies with good. Our minds will act on the new ideas that are formed and form a new, more positive belief and attitude. This deep understanding sees the good of God everywhere and always present. This shift in attitude brings greater freedom; peace, joy, and salvation. It seems we just need to give up the old worries, free ourselves and replace old ideas with the knowledge that everything we need is available. In the awareness that everything is one it seems revelation, discernment and right choices are made.

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I have often thought how does a divine being from heaven, at (as) one with the Father, sacrifice anything? He would have known as a divine being that his "life" was going to be just peachy once his human body expired. A far greater sacrifice would be that of Jesus the human, with uncertainty beyond death, giving his life for his beliefs - that has some meaning. Granted, Socrates and countless others have died for their beliefs but you have to be fully human for it to have value.

 

:ph34r:

Edited by Inthedark
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Ignore this post. I felt so strongly about it I answered it again and then saw it after I'd posted. I have a memory like a siv. I tried to delete it but couldn't.

 

While I'm here, I may as well ask what the orthodox position is on this topic? I'd be interested to hear the explanation. I'll ask my minister tomorrow actually, he loves being caught on the hop with curly questions.

 

I still hold that any value we assign to a death as a sacrifice comes from the very human aspect of the fear of death and the finality of it. In contrast, a divine being playing pantomime seems cruel to me.

 

:ph34r:

Edited by Inthedark
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The stories of Jesus I see as myths pointing to the other side. The microcosm cannot grasp the macrocosm because it is too vast. The image that our unit minds can grasp is another unit being who serves as a model for spiritual life. I feel the myth or history of Jesus is pointing the way to the macrocosmic mind and is the tangential point between the macrocosm and the microcosm. By using Jesus as a personal model and a focal point, I attain an entry point to Christ consciousness. I feel Buddha is the entry point for Buddhist if they think along these lines. The tangenital point one picks is the perfect consciousness for the human model because it has attained all of the possibilities in the human state. In it all potential is actualized on this earthly plane so it becomes the prototype of being for what I call the Christ conscious mind. It admits and supports the idea that there are varied upward paths to pure consciousness, and the diversity in different world faiths diminishes as one approaches Christ consciousness. Evolution and all spiritual paths lead to pure consciousness. Enlightenment, samadhi, nirvanna, moksha may be substituted for Christ Consciousness. I am more concerned with the spiritual experience than the history of the story.

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The stories of Jesus I see as myths pointing to the other side. The microcosm cannot grasp the macrocosm because it is too vast. The image that our unit minds can grasp is another unit being who serves as a model for spiritual life. I feel the myth or history of Jesus is pointing the way to the macrocosmic mind and is the tangential point between the macrocosm and the microcosm. By using Jesus as a personal model and a focal point, I attain an entry point to Christ consciousness. I feel Buddha is the entry point for Buddhist if they think along these lines. The tangenital point one picks is the perfect consciousness for the human model because it has attained all of the possibilities in the human state. In it all potential is actualized on this earthly plane so it becomes the prototype of being for what I call the Christ conscious mind. It admits and supports the idea that there are varied upward paths to pure consciousness, and the diversity in different world faiths diminishes as one approaches Christ consciousness. Evolution and all spiritual paths lead to pure consciousness. Enlightenment, samadhi, nirvanna, moksha may be substituted for Christ Consciousness. I am more concerned with the spiritual experience than the history of the story.

 

Thanks for your insightful response to my question soma. Are you suggesting that the actual veracity of the Jesus story is almost irrelevant, when the whole is considered as a vehicle for attaining a higher state of consciousness? The Christ character has become the focal point, the ultimate example of the enlightened individual, and that in itself is the point, not the veracity of the story? I am not too up to speed on these matter, which is why I am here! You also seem to be hinting at a potential universal approach to religion, transcendant of individual faiths - sounding a bit like James Fowlers stages of faith model, stage 6 if you like, is that what you mean?

 

Thanks

 

Paul

Edited by Inthedark
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