- God is perfect
- Imperfection is called ‘sin’
- Therefore God can not tolerate sin
- God made humans to keep him company
- But humans, given free will, inevitably sin
- So God requires sacrifices to clean humans of their sin
- So God decided that animal sacrifices may help
- Though the smell of burning entrails originally pleased God, they were never truly enough so he decided that he would create a perfect sacrifice
- God procreated a perfect boy-god with a human girl — his son, ‘Jesus’
- God let Jesus be sacrificed to clean sin
- Now a Perfect God can keep company with Sinful humans but only if they believe this whole story with their whole heart
Well, that is one version of Christianity. See my listing the other Atonement theories.
But I don’t understand something about this version of Christianity: If it was all about this sacrifice, why are Jesus’ teachings so important? Why not just have the bad guys snatch up the baby Jesus and dash him against some rocks and Splat! the work is done.
I will guess at the possible answer:
Look, God works in different ways at different times — we can call these “dispensations”. When God, using his own mysterious clock, finally decided humans needed a perfect sacrifice, he also decided we needed better teachings than the ones he supplied in the Old Testament – the old dispensation. And he figured that three years were all that his son would need to give the teachings.
So, any Christian scholars want to help me on this one? Was Jesus put here on Earth to serve as a sacrifice or teach or both? And what teachings were so important to put off dashing baby Jesus against a rock? To me, it seems obvious that there are a few different Jesus’ in the gospels — here I illustrate a teaching Jesus and a salvation Jesus. The problems seem obvious, but nothing some good theological twists should not be able to remedy.
Notes: This post was inspired by combined effect of two posts — both by nonbelievers, both criticizing Republicans:
- Someone was making fun of Mormons so as to delegitimize the presidential contended Mitt Romney. Seriously? As if Christianity is less bizarre and Protestant candidates are safer? I wrote a post called: “Your god is weird” where I likewise went rabid when I heard someone making fun of Sikhs.
- Someone spoke about the importance of Jesus’ teachings. Even Atheists use Jesus to make a point. Similarly, I wrote a post called: Was Jesus a Great Teacher?
Also, you may enjoy this short post: Gospel debates: Where atheists miss the boat