Hi Mysterio,Mysterio448 wrote:The idea that Jesus died for our sins is at the core of the Christian faith. However, it seems that many people don't think much about what the phrase really means. In the Bible, Jesus is sometimes referred to as "the Lamb," referring to the Old Testament practice of sacrificing a lamb for the atonement of sin. The idea is that Jesus himself was essentially the ultimate sacrifice, whose suffering and death atoned for the sins of all mankind. For anyone remotely familiar with Christian theology, this idea is so familiar that we fail to acknowledge one very simple implication of it: the significance of Jesus' crucifixion emanates from the presupposition of the validity of sacrifice. In other words, in order to be a true Christian you must believe in the idea that the destruction of one being can directly precipitate good fortune upon another being. Therefore, if you are a Christian, when you hear about how the ancient Phoenicians would have their children burnt alive to appease the god Moloch or how the Aztecs would carve out the hearts of living victims so that the sun could rise, while being disgusted at these acts and their inherent cruelty, you must still at least be able to sympathize with the fundamental logic of them.
My question is this: if you are a Christian, do you agree with the basic logic of sacrifice? The way I understand it, the very core of the Christian faith rests on this logic. If you do not agree with the logic of sacrifice, then how do you reconcile that with your Christian faith?
I was about to post a similar topic. I believe our beliefs are always subjective to some degree, and ideally, we responsibly choose beliefs that are the most healthy and productive, knowing that to some degree, we are wrong, no matter what we believe. I've been thinking about the pros and cons of believing in God requiring Jesus to be sacrificed, to attone for us. I'm not interested in purely biased views to one extreme or the other. "Thinking with integrity is paradoxical thinking." And truth is that which causes influence - metaphysically, what we believe can be helpful or destructive physiologically.
Pros: 1. Believing someone loved me enough to die for me may be comforting, especially if I have little else to help me cope with hardships. 2. The icon of Jesus is an inspiring one - a good example to follow. Believing that someone suffered so much and still forgave others that hurt him, is inspiring to me. 3. Jesus is a personification of spirituality - it is much easier to resonate with a human being like us, than to an abstract idea of spirit/God/Love... & it's better than worshipping such fallible illusions like romance. 4. It is easier to believe in something that so many others believe in. Once, I stood and sang a Christian hymn in a conference center with about 30,000 others... & the spirit of unity was awe-inspiring! 5. The belief in a higher power is required to get the ego out of the way & allow our amazing & creative subconscious to work it's magic. Jesus serves as a crutch in believing in a power outside of us.
Cons: 1. Jesus has become a scapegoat, which causes people to not take responsibility for making "at-one" or correcting their mistakes. 2. Jesus, himself warned against worshipping him (Luke 18:19 & Mark 10:18) ... & we know that the 60+ books collected in the bible have been through corrupt hands over the centuries, and words have been twisted, to put words in Jesus' mouth that he didn't say or mean. 3. God is love. My idea of love has nothing to do with killing one person, to magically heal another. In fact, evil is not in being imperfect, since God (or however you consider Creation of us) created us imperfect, so we can have choices/live & learn. Evil is the denial of resonsibility of one's mistakes & attempt to make another pay for them. (ie abortion, human sacrifice, etc.) Again, Jesus taught this in parables like that of the self-rightous condemning pharisee & humble tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). 4. Nobody can save oneself from one's thoughts but oneself... You could hit yourself in the head, and say, "when I do this, you will no longer die, be sad, etc".... but that's dysfunctional rather than helpful. Jesus taught, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation... [but is] within you." (Luke 17:21). 5. God is supposed to be who we worship, want to be like. Wanting to kill another for one's sins, or worship someone who does, is an illogical and unethical tradition, IMO. Yet, so many believe it out of peer pressure - because "everyone's been believing it" & other cognitive distortions around them and others for centuries without question, which may be partly why up to 60-80% of mental illness cases may be attributed to misinterpreations of Judaic & Christian doctrine.