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Thread: But *why* did Jesus die for our sins?

  1. #1

    Default But *why* did Jesus die for our sins?

    This was coming up in another thread, but I decided it would be worthy of its own thread rather than derailing one which servers a different, valuable service.

    Here's what the Bible teaches us, as I've come to understand.

    God [Christian] loves people so much that he gave us his only begotten son to die for our sins. With this sacrifice, people who accept Jesus as their savior will be absolved of sin and after death will spend eternity in the presence of God.

    Now here's what I don't get:

    1. Why is Jesus God's only son? God could easily create another son if he wished. He's God. By very the definition of God (in Christianity, omnipotent), this should take zero effort.
    2. Why was it necessary for God to give Jesus to die for our sins? If God wants to forgive us for our sins, what necessitates Jesus's death? There's nothing stopping him so long as God is truly omnipotent.
    3. Shouldn't the fact we murdered the son of God make Him less inclined to forgive us our sins?


    [Aside: I know that not all Christian traditions require accepting Jesus for salvation in every single instance. I'm ignoring this for the sake of brevity. I'm looking for someone who believes in what I wrote above to explain the theological logic to me. I'm not looking for a debate as to whether the above is correct, partially correct, or bs.]

    ---------- Post added at 03:38 ---------- Previous post was at 03:35 ----------

    Clarification: I'm creating this thread for an academic discussion of Christianity. Not whether one religion is right or wrong or better or worse. These are points I'm curious about. I'm not trying to create logical catch-22s, and this isn't a demonstration that I think Christianity is stupid. I'm just interested in how a devoted Christian answers those questions. Besides, it's Easter.

  2. #2

    Default

    Joshua really. That's one of those things I find really fascinating. That "Jesus" is just the result of various sort of ancient typos caused by translations and the differences between character sets. As far as I know, it's pretty certain that his name was Joshua, or at least appears that way in the earliest written versions of the scripture. My memory of university is a bit sketchy at this point but I think the "son of God" aspect was only decided on at the First Council of Nicaea and I do recall there are still sects of Christianity that do not believe Joshua/Jesus was the literal son of God. I could swear there was some weird Catholic offshoot that didn't believe in the son thing.

  3. #3
    Butterfly Mage

    Default

    I take a more pragmatic approach. I have two competing theories that are not necessarily mutually exclusive:

    1.) Jesus died to atone for God's sins against mankind, not the other way around. Sure, mankind has his share of crime, but it pales in comparison to the pathological, sadistic, genocidal behavior exhibited by God towards mankind in the Old Testament. And you'll note that God's "deadly temper tantrums" stopped after the crucifixion.

    2.) Jesus died because he was framed for treason by the greedy, power-mad Religious Right of his time. After all, Jesus preached peace, inclusion, tolerance to the foreigner, and befriending the outcast. He publicly rebuked the high priests for following the Law instead of helping mankind. And he declared that one doesn't need to clergy in order to pray. That made Jesus too much of a threat to the Religious Right so they had him killed. (Hint: if Jesus came back today, the only mystery would be who would have him murdered: the Pope, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, or Franklin Graham).

  4. #4

  5. #5

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    Someday I will make a Bible study despite not being religious in the slightest. Then I'll get back to you. But my theory right now is that it doesn't make sense, because while Jesus Christ is God's son, we are all God's children. So why is Jesus so important?

  6. #6
    Butterfly Mage

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by DLGrif View Post
    Someday I will make a Bible study despite not being religious in the slightest. Then I'll get back to you. But my theory right now is that it doesn't make sense, because while Jesus Christ is God's son, we are all God's children. So why is Jesus so important?
    I think Christianity borrowed a bit from Hinduism when it comes to the nature of Christ. Essentially, Jesus is an avatar of God. Christians won't use that word, of course, but it technically fits.

  7. #7

    Default

    I believe the current, pat response is:

    --God is really into blood sacrifices (seriously). i.e. the only way to receive forgiveness for a sin is a blood sacrifice.

    --Jesus is supposedly the ultimate blood sacrifice. Sinless. Human. Hence the whole "Ok, you don't have to make anymore blood sacrifices" convenience.

    --"Forgive them for they know not what they do" was basically the whole "shouldn't he be pissed at us?" explanation. Basically the idea is that god deemed Jesus necessary due to the whole blood sacrifice thing and sent him/himself/trinity-mind-f down for the express purpose of dying.

    --This obviously isn't an "academic" answer. It's just one you'll commonly hear if you're talking to pastors.

    As to the whole omnipotent thing... you're pretty much guaranteed to be in a paradoxical situation when you combine omnipotence with omniscience and the pat answer for that is "you just don't get it, because you're not god".

  8. #8
    Butterfly Mage

    Default

    I've often thought that the priests invented blood sacrifices so that they could get the working folk to bring cattle, goats, sheep, chicken, and grain to the temple so that the priests could get a free meal without having to work for it. Nowadays, the preachers take cash.

  9. #9

    Default

    At first, my opinion was "Because he loved every single human being.", but after reading some of the replies, I can honestly say that I don't know.



    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly Mage View Post
    I take a more pragmatic approach. I have two competing theories that are not necessarily mutually exclusive:

    1.) Jesus died to atone for God's sins against mankind, not the other way around. Sure, mankind has his share of crime, but it pales in comparison to the pathological, sadistic, genocidal behavior exhibited by God towards mankind in the Old Testament. And you'll note that God's "deadly temper tantrums" stopped after the crucifixion.
    I like this theory a lot, especially since there are people who argue the validity of the Old Testament. So, in that context, is Jesus seen as God's sacrifice of apology to the world? Or perhaps he's just God's better half? Either way, that's a really really interesting theory.



    2.) Jesus died because he was framed for treason by the greedy, power-mad Religious Right of his time. After all, Jesus preached peace, inclusion, tolerance to the foreigner, and befriending the outcast. He publicly rebuked the high priests for following the Law instead of helping mankind. And he declared that one doesn't need to clergy in order to pray. That made Jesus too much of a threat to the Religious Right so they had him killed. (Hint: if Jesus came back today, the only mystery would be who would have him murdered: the Pope, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, or Franklin Graham).
    So, basically, people were screwing up this religion even when Jesus was still around? ... Jesus really can't catch a break, can he? (PS: If Jesus came back, I'd totally be his bodyguard. You'd have to get through me to get to the only sane person.)



    Quote Originally Posted by DLGrif View Post
    Someday I will make a Bible study despite not being religious in the slightest. Then I'll get back to you. But my theory right now is that it doesn't make sense, because while Jesus Christ is God's son, we are all God's children. So why is Jesus so important?
    I guess it was because God put his magic inside of a virgin woman and impregnated her.

    Am I the only one who thinks that it would hurt even more than normal, non-virgin birth?

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly Mage View Post
    I take a more pragmatic approach. I have two competing theories that are not necessarily mutually exclusive:

    1.) Jesus died to atone for God's sins against mankind, not the other way around. Sure, mankind has his share of crime, but it pales in comparison to the pathological, sadistic, genocidal behavior exhibited by God towards mankind in the Old Testament. And you'll note that God's "deadly temper tantrums" stopped after the crucifixion.

    2.) Jesus died because he was framed for treason by the greedy, power-mad Religious Right of his time. After all, Jesus preached peace, inclusion, tolerance to the foreigner, and befriending the outcast. He publicly rebuked the high priests for following the Law instead of helping mankind. And he declared that one doesn't need to clergy in order to pray. That made Jesus too much of a threat to the Religious Right so they had him killed. (Hint: if Jesus came back today, the only mystery would be who would have him murdered: the Pope, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, or Franklin Graham).
    Can you reference any of these points ? I'm particularly interested in the ones about praying, or him rebuking the high priests for 'following the law'

    With all due respect I think this shows a fairly ignorant view of both the bible and Jesus.

    With regards to your theory, that God sacrificed Christ to atone for his own sins, where is the logic in that ?

    If God was this terrible awful God, who was wreaking carnage and destruction for his own merriment, why would he apologise ?

    ---------- Post added at 19:01 ---------- Previous post was at 18:50 ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by NightFox View Post
    This was coming up in another thread, but I decided it would be worthy of its own thread rather than derailing one which servers a different, valuable service.

    Here's what the Bible teaches us, as I've come to understand.

    God [Christian] loves people so much that he gave us his only begotten son to die for our sins. With this sacrifice, people who accept Jesus as their savior will be absolved of sin and after death will spend eternity in the presence of God.
    Now here's what I don't get:

    1. Why is Jesus God's only son? God could easily create another son if he wished. He's God. By very the definition of God (in Christianity, omnipotent), this should take zero effort.
    2. Why was it necessary for God to give Jesus to die for our sins? If God wants to forgive us for our sins, what necessitates Jesus's death? There's nothing stopping him so long as God is truly omnipotent.
    3. Shouldn't the fact we murdered the son of God make Him less inclined to forgive us our sins?


    [Aside: I know that not all Christian traditions require accepting Jesus for salvation in every single instance. I'm ignoring this for the sake of brevity. I'm looking for someone who believes in what I wrote above to explain the theological logic to me. I'm not looking for a debate as to whether the above is correct, partially correct, or bs.]

    ---------- Post added at 03:38 ---------- Previous post was at 03:35 ----------

    Clarification: I'm creating this thread for an academic discussion of Christianity. Not whether one religion is right or wrong or better or worse. These are points I'm curious about. I'm not trying to create logical catch-22s, and this isn't a demonstration that I think Christianity is stupid. I'm just interested in how a devoted Christian answers those questions. Besides, it's Easter.


    Nightfox, this is an excellent question and I hope I can answer it satisfactory for you.
    I would recommend though, when trying to find out things about the bible, or God, check what people say, in the bible. Many people claim knowledge of God and the Bible, but often have no idea what they are talking about (myself included). Question everything, and confirm everything with God's word.

    This is the purpose for the crucifixion, as how I see it, in a very small nutshell. This is a very very summarised version .

    In the beginning, God created everything. In Heaven, Lucifer rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven with a number of other fallen angels. Go created man, and he created us with free will, because what is love if we are forced to love, and what value is their in obedience if we cannot chose to disobey ? Man sinned against God, and was separated from God.

    God did not want man to be separate from him for ever, as he had created us for a purpose. However God was just, and if he just forgave us our sins, he would also have to forgive Satan. Therefore God sent his son Christ as a sacrifice, so that he, Christ, could take on the sins of the world.

    As I said, this is a very short summary, that does not do the topic much justice.

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