Monday, May 25, 2009

Religion And Paulitics, Part 1

I am presenting the first installment of a short series of posts entitled "Religion And Paulitics." These aren't rants per se. They are, for the most part, simple discussions concerning perceived contradictions and/or situations of faith that either make little sense or demand further discussion.

Since the first of these discussions will focus on the Christian faith, I feel it important to present to the reader that I am neither denying the divinity of Jesus Christ nor expressing any blasphemous intent. What I propose in these discussions will be presented in a mature manner intended to provoke serious discussion, if any discussion follows.

I am unaware of anyone using the term "Paulitics," and as such I trademark the term. :)

Paulitics will be discussed in a future post. For now, I want to discuss more of a core faith issue.

According to St. Paul in his letters in the New Testament, a person's soul is saved by faith alone. The faith necessary is faith in the fact that Jesus was sent to Earth to die for the sins of humankind in order to make the believer's soul spiritually clean and fit for entrance into heaven.

Jesus is considered by followers of the Christian faith to be the literal son of God.

God is believed to be an omnipotent, omnipresent, all-powerful, just, and forgiving god.

Yet, for an omnipotent, omnipresent, all-powerful, just, and forgiving god, God chooses to sacrifice the life of his own son to save the souls of the many.

My first question is:

Why would an all-powerful deity use such a solution? I understand the symbolism of sacrifice. It was important to the faith since the days of Cain and Abel. Abraham was asked the impossible to show his faith -- to sacrifice not just the best of his herd, but sacrifice the son God had given him. Job's family and livelihood were sacrificed, again as a testament to faith.

But why? Surely there are other ways. First of all, why is there a need for a sacrifice at all? If God is a forgiving god, why not simply forgive the transgressions of humanity as they are? Humans are not divine creatures, and as such have fault. They are a faulty creation. Why not just forgive that from the beginning?

Some will say this is where "just" comes in. God is a just god. He deals justice in a firm, fair manner. Therefore, if one asks for forgiveness, one will receive it.

But why? Humans were created by God. Humans were given free-will at creation. Free-will is a dangerous trait. Surely God would have known, especially since He knows the past, present, and future, that the creation of humanity was faulty before it was created. Wouldn't He simply forgive the creation from the get-go and not demand the creation ask for forgiveness for being as it was created? I am not saying humanity was created to sin. I'm saying humanity was created with the ability to sin. But why create something destined to fail and punish it for failing if you are loving and forgiving? Does it sound very loving to give your child dangerous weaponry, then execute your child for taking that weaponry and using it to destroy? No. I think if God is forgiving, God understands that humanity will sin. God knew humanity would sin against Him before it was created. I feel that there was no need for blood sacrifice. Anything else would be extortion.

Why create humanity to have free-will, then punish humanity for using it? Why punish the ones who do not believe? Would that be very forgiving?

Yet humanity is sinful. Humanity is imperfect. Humanity is destined for Hell unless it repents, and is Saved. Humanity is Saved through the death of Jesus Christ.

Even if one believed a sacrifice was necessary, how does the sacrifice of God's Son prove that God has tremendous love for me?

As a child this is what I was told. Because God loved me so much, he sacrificed his own child. Does this sound loving to you?

How many would be appalled by their lover, suitor, or friend who, in an act of love murdered their child for you, to show you how far he'd go to prove the fact to you?

Further, there are many who believe the holy trinity to be aspects of one being. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the God the Spirit.

How many would be appalled by their lover, suitor, or friend who, in an act of love chopped off parts of their body, blinded themselves, or even went so far as to commit suicide for you, to show you how far he'd go to prove the fact to you?

The entire situation seems wicked to me.

I am not denying the divinity of Jesus Christ. All I want is for people to think:

Maybe we got it wrong?

What if Paul wasn't right? What if Paul actually contradicted the teachings of Jesus? What if Paul simply hijacked the faith of those he persecuted and twisted it into something blasphemous and obscene? Some say he did. We'll read about that soon enough.

Why would God allow someone like Paul to infiltrate His faith and spread lies throughout his holy work?

What would you expect of someone who demands you kill your beloved son as a testament of faith?

Something stinks, and it isn't my underwear.

No comments: