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Why I am not a Catholic nor Protestant Christian, Part 2: Jesus Died for our Sins

04/01/10

Permalink 09:36:00 pm, by Norgaard Norgaard Email , 853 words   English (US)
Categories: Why I am not a Catholic nor Protestant Christian

Why I am not a Catholic nor Protestant Christian, Part 2: Jesus Died for our Sins

Today is Holy Thursday and tomorrow is Good Friday. What better time to take a close look at the near universal Christian belief that Jesus died to save us from our sins?

Let me begin by describing my personal experiences in the Catholic church with regard to this. Growing up, each year leading up to Easter, we heard a lot about the last days of Jesus' life and the torment he was subject to and the sacrifice he made. We were supposed to grieve for Jesus and feel genuine sorrow that he was tormented and that he passed on Good Friday. We were then supposed to feel elation and joy that he resurrected on Easter. After all, he did all of this for us.

But starting when I was a teenager, this didn't make too much sense to me. The idea is that Jesus had to die for our sins because a price had to be paid for the fact that we, all of humanity throughout time, had sinned. It is not that we, the sinners, had to pay, but that someone had to pay, and Jesus laid down his life to pay so that we would not have to do so ourselves. When I was six or seven I heard of Jesus' death and how it was important, but when I heard the details in later years of why it was supposed to be so important, it didn't make any sense.

Where do I begin? Well, let me begin by asking why the perpetrator of the sins does not have to pay? I had actually heard that people who sin and don't repent pay by going to hell. So it was inconsistent. It makes sense to me that people who kill and rape and steal and ruin people's lives should pay. If someone who commits horrible sins repents, then they have to make it up somehow. They can't just say they are sorry and believe in God and everything is okay. Or at least that's what it seemed like would make the most sense to me. I was in support of repentance in principle, but I was just thinking that they should have to really prove that they are sorry to a degree that is proportional to the damage that they caused. I liked the idea of people being able to turn their lives around, but I did think that they should pay some price, not eternal damnation, but still a price, for their sins and that this price should be a more difficult and drawn out repentance process. This seemed like justice to me when I was a teenager and it still makes sense to me now.

Back to the idea that someone has to pay a price, but not necessarily the actual sinner, this is ludicrous. This seems to only make sense in a small tribal court where the tribal elders will be happy if someone pays a price for a wrong but they do not care who, because in this tribal situation, order is preserved either way. I would certainly think that God would not work this way. It is, after all, God who would be demanding that some price be paid, wouldn't it? Wouldn't God be the one demanding that someone lay down for the sins of mankind, but not necessarily the sinners themselves? Why would God have the flawed logic of a tribal elder who is just trying to maintain order among the tribesmen?

And while we are on this subject, since Jesus is understood to be an incarnation of God himself, why does it make sense that God as Jesus dies to please God's desire for someone to die for the sins of mankind? And here is another thing that I could never understand: why are we supposed to mourn for Jesus' death when he is God and therefore nothing bad can ever really happen to him? How bad can it be that he got whipped a few times and got nails driven into him if he is, after all, an incarnation of God? Why is it such a great thing that Jesus died, when this could not possibly have negatively affected God, which is what Jesus was supposed to be, right?

This is about all I can write about right now without getting too ahead of myself. I want to write a separate posting for each of the following subjects in the coming weeks: 1) Was Jesus the son of God? 2) Holy Communion as the "Body of Christ" 3) How did Christianity become popular?

In closing, I will just mention that this obsession with the death and supposed resurrection of Jesus, and my conclusion that these beliefs don't make sense, let me to focus less of Jesus than other Christians in my late teenage years and early twenties, which eventually resulted in my decision to renounce Christianity. I will explain this more in future posts. Thanks for reading.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Is Jesus the son of God? Let your voice be heard in the forum.
You can also email the me at brandon@enlightenedworldview.com

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