A reasonable blog on atheism, religion, science and skepticism
Follow Patheos Atheist:
It’s a question that demands answering!
Ha! This is always my response when someone says to me, “If you don’t believe Jesus was God, then why did he have to die?”
People say that? Really? I know I’ll die like everyone else someday. Am I God too? Why do I have to die?
In response to my inquiry as to the logic and morality of requiring a human sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, an Evangelical Christian asked me, “Did you ever consider that perhaps Jesus’ death wasn’t the result of needing a sacrifice, but the result of his revolutionary message of love and forgiveness?” I replied, “Is that what you believe?” and they said, “Well, no but…” They just desperately wanted me to affirm SOMETHING I/they could call “Christianity”.
I’m somewhat confused. How could Jesus’s “revolutionary message of love and forgiveness” have led to his death? I fail to see the connection between the two. Is there a line of thought here that I’m missing, or was the logic simply stillborn?
I think it was more about the subversive nature of his message. He was seen as a threat to the status quo. Anyway, the specifics aren’t as important as the point that they were trying to get me to believe something – ANYTHING – so long as it provided a path to Christianity.
(Nodnod) I hear you, and it is pretty sad. I’m just amused by the stacking of complete failures to actually think things through. The Romans didn’t try, convict, and execute people for going around singing about love and peace, they did that to people fomenting rebellions and trying to start wars.
Not to be boring, but this presupposes that Jesus existed, died, and died in the manner depicted in the gospels (ignoring the contradictions in their various accounts). If we go that far down the rabbit hole, it’s not hard for a Christian to retort to the above question “Why else would he come back to life?” They’ll have the already accepted (in their mind at least) gospel accounts for back-up. Naturally the next step is to point out that this coming back to life thing makes his death not a noble sacrifice but a minor inconvenience, but Christianity is so wed to the idea that Jesus defeated death (whatever that means) that this tends to just cause a lot of blinking and knee-jerk recitation of bible verses.
I’m getting kind of sad now. I just don’t see any thought put into Christianity anymore. It used to at least be interesting to discuss it, but I fear the well’s run dry. Not that I want to be reconverted, but I’d at least like to know that my friends aren’t being treated like subhumans because complete idiots who can’t keep their story straight somehow manage to cling to social power. So much of apologetics boils down to “you believe it or you don’t, and if you don’t you’re deliberately choosing to defy gravity and float off to asphyxiate in space”.
“Naturally the next step is to point out that this coming back to life thing makes his death not a noble sacrifice but a minor inconvenience, but Christianity is so wed to the idea that Jesus defeated death (whatever that means) that this tends to just cause a lot of blinking and knee-jerk recitation of bible verses.”
John M. White:
In Memnoch The Devil, a “lesser” work in the Vampire Chronicles canon…before she temporarily???? went fundie Catholic, Anne Rice made this very issue a centerpiece in the debate between the Devil and Christianity. It’s another example of incohenerence in the “three omnis” doctrine….Since Jesus, who is omniscient, knows all, what is the level of sacrifice?
Wow! That 2011 post recommended above (in which I also mentioned that terrible Anne Rice novel, LOL) “What Was Sacrificed” was interesting.
Nzo used to be more…cutting…in his comments! LOL.
Follow Patheos on