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Translate Worship How?


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We do not live in a major city; however, the church I attend is trying to be inclusive. Easter/Christmas tend to stay traditional for all comers (understood) - rest of the year aims for balance.


Good Friday was a very difficult service - basically Isiah and John done in a nice contemporary ambience, with heavy substitutionary atonement. From Lent to Easter, folks are touchy about discussing an alternative view so it's go it alone time on how to cope.


I haven't figured out yet how to "translate" this version into an approach I am more comfortable. If you ask me, I can articulate a viewpoint - but I can't translate this action fast enough yet to worship. For example, i am not comfortable with substitutionary atonement, but the moral stance makes some sense to me. I'm sure this takes practice but wow! This attempt was a miserable hour.

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Greetings and welcome ychild.


For those who have a hard time forgiving others, much less themselves for the vanities and nature that seem to be a part of human life and the carnal mind, substitutionary atonement seems to be the pill. At least for those who believe they are sinners and believe in such an atonement. Even if not true, for those who do believe, it does provide a medium for those who at the present seem unable to forgive themselves or others for being in the human condition by any other belief. However on a deeper level even Jesus is recorded saying that as we forgive others, it is forgiven us ... and as we measure others, we are measured. It seems to me, this concept is superior and needs no substitutionary atonement by another for forgiveness.


Personally, as you (my understanding from your post) i also prefer to live in the freedom of a forgiving spirit and non-judgement. For me it makes all things lawful to me but not necessarily expedient. It seems to me that living in the guise of an atonement does not make one truly free because the nature that is part of all men/women merely continues to bring us again and again to that atonement for a forgiveness that only requires we forgive others for any self guilt to depart. However i am comfortable with whatever approach another chooses to take.


By the way, again, welcome to the forum ychild. . Hoping you find the clarity you search for.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ychild.

Substiitutional attonement is one I pondered over for some time. I mean why does someone have to die just for God to say I forgive you. Why cannot this just be done. I mean if we humans went with the same logic that somone has to die when people wrong us then I suspect there would not be many, if any, of us alive. Yet the idea of substitional Attonement portrays a God who is incapable of forgiving without someone or something being sacrificed. This for me portrays a flawed God.

Nowadays I see Jesus as dying that we should know of God rather than dying that we should be forgiven by God. I believe God forgives anyway. Lets look at it critically. Jesus was strickly a follower of Judaism. Judaism does not have a hell from which we need saving from. The Church I believe invented that. Hell did not exist prior to the church.


Anyway. Welcome my friend.

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Hi ychild,


For what it's worth I don't see Jesus as dying for anything other than his own personal experience/beliefs.


About the only thing we can say with reasonable certainty about Jesus is that he seemed to have made a significant impact on a number of people during his short period of teaching/preaching. Most likely Jesus felt he had an incredible relationship with God and he wanted others to have that. Most likely he thought the existing religious framework of the day, as well as Roman oppression, got in the way of that. He was trying to change the scene and for that he was executed.


I believe that the discussions and theology that followed turned Jesus into a religion, and taking the tradition of sacrifice in Jewish religion, Jesus followers interpreted Jesus' existence to become something different to what it actually was - a sacrifice for us rather than the more likely scenario of a God-enveloped human who was passionately trying to help people see God the way he saw God, but was killed for his troubles.


To me that doesn't take a single thing away from the personhood of Jesus and I can still respect, revere, and consider his teachings as a useful guide in life.




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