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Propitiation And Penal Atonement-Difficult


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I am a lifelong Christian, raised in conservative Lutheran church as a child.

However, I am having issues with the classic evangelical views Jesus the Christ's execution.

Why would the creator of quantum theory, quasars, relativity, mitosis, and retinas decide that a cruel blood sacrifice of his Son was needed? Seems kind of odd that such an entity would be so angry at man's selfishness and sin that a part of Himself, his Son, needed to suffer a cruel death to dissapate his anger. It makes God out to be a PO's angry tyrant pacing around wanting to destroy man, but feels better about it that Jesus was executed.

Back in Ancient Rome, blood sacrifice was fairly common, as a way to appease the pagan gods (the Romans had about 1000 gods). Perhaps that was the best way for the ancients to understand the death of the Christ.

No doubt that mankind is naturally selfish and greedy and falls short of the perfection of God. But really, a blood sacrifice?

Yet, many interpret the scriptures this way.

I am looking at Christus Victor, but our church does not seem to emphasize that view.

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I couldn't say it better myself!

 

Jesus as a sacrifice only makes sense to me as somebody else's interpretation of his existence.

 

I don't think for a minute that crucifixion was Jesus' mission, rather I think he held strong views about the tyranny of religion and politics and was making his points about focussing on relationship with God.

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I feel the crucifixion and resurrection are Christian selling points. My question to a Christian is if Jesus never resurrected and married Mary Magdalene would you still follow him even if he did not die in crucifixion?

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Hello Starr15,

 

I think you are correct in your assumptions as to the origins of the propitiation and atonement stories. It is rooted in humanity's barbaric past.

 

I would recommend reading a book called Constantine's Sword by James Carroll. I read it at exactly the same point in my spiritual journey as you seem to entering. I recall that it at first made me quite angry, and then after looking up some of the bibliographical references, provided a LOT of clarity.

 

NORM

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It makes little sense to me either. I see it as his final example of how to respond to one another. To forgive despite the horrible things done to you, the final blood sacrifice as our understanding of God changes from angry blood thirsty representative of the greeks and Romans to the loving one we know today. The crucifixion to me was symbolic of the change from an "eye for an eye" to "turn the other cheek". But like so many other messages many would be followers missed the point entirely, including early leaders of the faith. I could be wrong, but that's the only way it makes sense to me.

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Thanks for replies.

Some random thoughts:

 

Are not nature induced suffering such as Ebola, breast cancer, tornados, car accidents, childhood leukemia, quadraplegia, loss a loved one, and earthquakes enough to pay for human orginial sin?

Human greed, selfishness, and laziness are real and some kind of reckoning is in order though.

Perhaps God is truly unknowable by humans, but He has given us a brain to use to relate to Him in a human way, albeit trying to see an infinitely large image through a pinhole.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Starr I like your random thoughts.

 

Some abstract random thoughts:

 

I am thinking, but my mind is confused. My mind indicates that I am not my mind. Greed, selfishness and laziness are created in the mind and carried out in the body. My body is tired indicates I am not my body. I like to say I am the soul, some say consciousness and that consciousness is the combination of body, mind and soul. I think I am my mind and suffer the consequences over and over until I learn the lesson to go on, but like you said when in pain I look for a way out through the pin hole. I feel the breaking away of my unit consciousness from God's ocean of pure consciousness is what people are referring to with original sin so I contemplate how to get through the pin hole or the eye of the needle realizing that my mind created the separation so by identifying with the soul, consciousness or spirit I can merge with the whole and the pin hole disappears.

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Soma - a question and a random thought: Can one be part of "Gods pure ocean of consciousness" and still be independent? Still have a mind and a functional guiding rudder and sense of independent direction within one's self?

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Elen Yes, say everything is H2O in the ocean of pure consciousness, in science they would say everything is energy, subtle and gross. In Christianity I would liken this Ocean to God the Father. In the beginning, if there was only God then creation is made in God with the same material. Science says energy is not created or destroyed it just changes form in the law of conservation. Einstein said E=MC2 which says that matter is energy and energy is matter. C=the speed of light, which is energy. God the Father said, "Let there be light." This can be interpreted as allow light to manifest, it is not a command. The Ocean of Pure Consciousness has no qualities so does nothing that is God the Father. In this ocean there our ice bergs or Frozen water, some scientist say that matter is frozen light. The pure consciousness has no qualities so is pure that means there is no action. In the beginning all there is is God so who is he talking to when The Father says, "Let there be light." Back to the Trinity He is talking to the Holy Ghost to make the conditions for qualities. We can also think of this as the force of Mother Nature lowering the temperature so ice.................creation can slowly manifest through evolution gain qualities and become creation.

 

We are made in the image of God so we are pure consciousness too, but I feel we are like a cup floating in the ocean of pure consciousness separated by the cup of ego we are floating in. We took on our form of body and mind to learn, experience and know ourselves and God. We have energy in different forms in the water, cup and our beings so God is not up there, but in the here and now.

 

I appologize if this is confusing, but this myth allows my mind to relax and enjoy the show inside the cup and beyond it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi soma,

 

I’ve been looking at this last post of yours for the past ten days since you posted it, and can’t think of anything to say. Other than minor descriptive points I think I agree with the entire content. I feel good about the idea that we are able to have or develop a certain degree of independence and personal where with all and still be in touch with God both within ourselves as well as all around us. I sometimes also think that it would be easier to just give all my responsibility to God / the Creator / the Source and then I wouldn’t have to do all this extra leg work. Just trust in God and skip the whole rest of it, and be just happy. Maybe both paths lead to the same place or state of independence while still being with in and filled with God.

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Are not nature induced suffering such as Ebola, breast cancer, tornados, car accidents, childhood leukemia, quadraplegia, loss a loved one, and earthquakes enough to pay for human orginial sin?

 

Human greed, selfishness, and laziness are real and some kind of reckoning is in order though.

 

 

There are couple of things I see differently here Starr:

1) I do not somehow see human activities as somehow separate from nature ... Man, his motor car and greed are part of nature as far as I am concerned.

 

2) The original sin is not a rebellion against god, but starting to think in terms of good and evil, ie Tasting the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I would argue Genesis 3 is relatively clear that we should not think in terms of good and evil.

 

How somebody dying a dew thousand years later stops us from thinking in terms of good and evil is a bit beyond me.

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romansh

 

I know your last post #11 wasn’t addressed to me but you picked up on some ideas that I’ve had some thoughts on;

 

Quoted from your post:

“The original sin is not a rebellion against god, but starting to think in terms of good and evil, ie Tasting the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I would argue Genesis 3 is relatively clear that we should not think in terms of good and evil.”

 

I’ve been thinking of lately, that perhaps we, or I, should just be thinking in terms of what is good – skip the evil, that is don’t focus on it and just get on with what’s good. Paul of T. is quoted as saying, “be innocent of what is evil, but wise in what is good.” I recall Jesus speaking about “where these thing neither happen, neither do they come to mind,” meaning bad or evil things. He’s referring to heaven here or the new reality that Christians are entering into, not so much an idea of a heaven that one reaches after death.

 

I find that the more I can tune into God and just let God do the driving, or guiding, so to speak, the more this seems to be my reality or personal picture of things. It’s like there is no evil or bad stuff, there’s just little me going along and seeing the light, joy, wonder and promise in everything.

 

Just some thoughts to share.

 

E.

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Thanks for replies.

Some random thoughts:

 

Are not nature induced suffering such as Ebola, breast cancer, tornados, car accidents, childhood leukemia, quadraplegia, loss a loved one, and earthquakes enough to pay for human orginial sin?

Human greed, selfishness, and laziness are real and some kind of reckoning is in order though.

Perhaps God is truly unknowable by humans, but He has given us a brain to use to relate to Him in a human way, albeit trying to see an infinitely large image through a pinhole.

 

I believe in evolution. Subsequently I believe today's humans evolved from the earliest single-cell life forms through to the complex creatures we are today. That being the case, I see no room for 'original' sin. To me, clearly the life event of Adam and Eve sinning in a Garden of Eden, is either a folktale or a metaphor trying to explain why we don't live in a totally harmonious world.

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I think you hit the nail on the head Paul as in that time they had no knowledge of science but they did have metaphors and folktales to explain the unseen. I think we are still evolving and disasters are part of the process of evolution either by being the victim or lending a helping hand. Today I was thinking Atom==Adam an entrance into the physical plane.

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