Born To Be Guilty

Most of us are born into countries with legal systems…correct?

I would think all of us are born innocent before the law…correct?

I am finding it kind of funny the Christian belief in original sin and penal substitution theory (of atonement) as compared with progressive countries in the world.

Certain Christian beliefs would have a person believe they were born ‘guilty’ before the law (ie: original sin). This is prior to them doing any single crime that would condemn them before the law, just being born is enough.

What kind of court system is God running up there exactly? You are born guilty (based on someone else’s sin) and then presumed innocent via someone else’s actions (ie: Jesus). Huh?

So nothing we did made us guilty and nothing we did made us innocent. I have to go with Ockham’s razor on this (easiest solution is likely the right one) and say, why have either doctrine when nothing you do changes one iota of any of it? Really you are not a part of God’s plan of how things work out, your a pawn on a chess board being saved by bigger key figures than yourself.

That’s a strange court and a strange way of ruling one out of the importance of their own choices in life.

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17 thoughts on “Born To Be Guilty

  1. Hi, it’s been a while 🙂
    The sin/atonement doctrine of the gospel is pretty clear but some will argue the fate of the infant that dies. I would say that God would not judge a person’s sin at birth, but then at what point would they be judged? I would say that God deals with each of us personally.

  2. I’m with you on this one too; It just makes absolutely no sense. However, when the threat of eternal torture hangs over ones head – and that is the basis of most Christian theolgy – then even questioning such extreme doctrines is worthy of hell! Don’t you think God is far bigger than our petty theologies?

  3. So if Jesus is not the way, then there is another way. There are many religions. You may not believe an any God. If you want to think on just a plausible basis… I would think somebody has got to be “in the know”. And no matter where you are on the picture there are considerations. Say for example, if you are atheist or agnostic? One big problem there is that the end is bad. Nothing. No reward. No punishment. No need to really aspire to values like honesty, sacrifice and charity, it makes no difference in the end. You just die.

    And I punishment is not eternal torture, no way. From what I have read and studied about it, you just cease to exist. Eternally non-existent. You can look at this in a more positive way. You either get a reward or you don’t.

    I really don’t see a problem with the gospel message. Basically, you accept that you have need of God by accepting the sacrifice of His Son. Not an easy thing to do, but not all that unreasonable is it?

  4. Brotherken, I have absolutely no desire to debate theological issues at this time. But, if God is an all loving and knowing God why must he be so angry and vengful before forgivness is granted. The idea of atonement theology does seem to me to be very unreasonable. It is absolutely incongruent with my understanding of the loving God revealed in Jesus. However, if you find meaning and hope through that understanding, I say great! But, there are many Christians that – through careful study of scripture and prayer – see and understand things differently.

  5. Chris. Oh, I understand competing interpretations and beliefs. Been all over the place myself. It is quite possible for two competing ideas to reasonable merit. I have certainly struggled with God’s vengence, won’t lie.

    news… We can not know it all for sure.

  6. “Really you are not a part of God’s plan of how things work out…”

    Just this weekend I watched a Lawrence Krauss vid on youtube and in it he explained how it looks like the universe is made up of 30% dark matter, 70% dark energy, and ‘we’ pretty much take up less than the margin for error in the calculations. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo]

    And personally speaking, I’d feel choosing a life of honesty, virtue and sacrifice without regard to personal reward would be something to aspire to, a story of inspiration. Mind you, following a life of honesty, virtue and sacrifice, non-existence might be a pretty good reward after all.

  7. “Hi, it’s been a while” (Ken)

    Welcome back Ken, always good to hear from ya!

    “The sin/atonement doctrine of the gospel is pretty clear…” (Ken)

    It’s actually not that clear.

    The OT (Tanakh) which is used widely in Judaism does not use a sacrificial system at all.

    The NT discusses this issue quite briefly – in fact – only Hebrews really gets into this topic (and no one knows who wrote that book and when). The gospels really have little to nothing to say about a single atonement theory. Truth be told, the NT (minus Hebrews) never lays out the atonement theory in detail ever.

    What we have in churches is a doctrine about the atonement theory based on cut n paste scripture (piece from here and a piece from there equals said doctrine). Only Hebrews lays out this idea, and that’s a sole book (with no author) of 27 in the NT…pretty small piece of the whole work.

    I also think the atonement is based on Paul’s ‘original sin’ idea, something he doesn’t even make clear what he means. And if he is making it clear – it seems what he means is the inclusion of the Gentiles and the hope of resurrection via Jesus life and death.

    However, in dealing with original sin, it’s made up – or is a ‘man made doctrine’ for sure. Judiasm, the founder of the Tanakh, doesn’t even use the original sin idea (which is supposedly found in Genesis). I find that strange for something we think is so obvious in Christianity. It’s only obvious when we want to view scriptures a certain way.

    I do agree we ‘all sin’ – and when we become responsible for this is when we ‘grow up’. I cannot be certain of an age to be honest – I just know this deeper level of consciousness happens/grows in our teens.

  8. “I really don’t see a problem with the gospel message. Basically, you accept that you have need of God by accepting the sacrifice of His Son. Not an easy thing to do, but not all that unreasonable is it?” (Ken)

    I think the way it is set up in many Christian circles makes it absolutely unplausible. I almost think they are making up a ‘fear’ tactic to gain converts.

    It isn’t plausible to think Jesus (whom Christians deem as God) died as an atonement for sin (which came through one man – Adam) and everyone would not be covered in that action. Why was everyone covered by Adam but not Jesus? It’s illogical to have the equation work one way and not vice versa.

    It isn’t plausible to think that human ‘choice’ is involved in the process of salvation. If this is so, then everything Jesus did on the cross at Calvary was for not, when it was easy as us just choosing.

    It isn’t plausible to think God functions on something as simple as positive and negative reinforcment (which are only small sub-sections of human psychology). But with a system that functions on the basis of reward and punishment alone – this is what God is reduced too…a small – finite God – who functions like a child psychologist.

    It isn’t plausible to weigh a loving God with one that believes in a hell (namely an everlasting punishing hell). I find it funny, us Christians who live a life of sacrifice for others will be partying up in heaven while we know others are suffering in torment or have been wiped from existence (this will include some very closed loved ones for everyone). Are we just gonna do a 180 in heaven and not care about those suffering all of a sudden?

    The idea of atonement, hell, original sin, all don’t make logical sense…this coming from a God that gave us a logical brain system to use.

  9. “It isn’t plausible to think Jesus (whom Christians deem as God) died as an atonement for sin…” (societyvs)

    The Christian faith stands or falls on the person of Jesus Christ. You say the atonement theology is “not plausible”, I say it makes perfect sense. We have been through it all before, so I won’t try to explain the reasoning, but you know I don’t believe all that the mainline church teaches.

    “this is what God is reduced too…a small – finite God – who functions like a child psychologist.” (societyvs)

    Oh come now. The gospel message may be simple to understand, but to suggest that it would take a simple mind to employ is just not a well thought out statement. With a little effort I could probably list off a couple hundred things in life that are easy to explain now but at one time were considered a mystery. And I think it must have been heart-wrenching for God to allow His Son to die in such a cruel way. If it were not necessary, I am sure He would not have allowed it. That makes God small and finite?

  10. “The gospel message may be simple to understand…” (Ken)

    In all honesty, I don’t think it really is that simple Ken, or at least not with the way it is employed in churches. The gospel passages were written in another time, another culture, and in another type of country…all these things play a bigger part than is let on about the interpretation of the Tanakh and NT. Some of it is pretty clear (granted) but a lot of it isn’t. The atonement theory is one of those things that isn’t, there are 7 theories on this issue – if it was so clear why have so many theories? This seems to be the case on many Christian doctrines.

    “And I think it must have been heart-wrenching for God to allow His Son to die in such a cruel way. If it were not necessary, I am sure He would not have allowed it. That makes God small and finite?” (Ken)

    It would be heart-wrenching to watch any human die, including a son. That being said, I don’t think Jesus was literally God’s ‘son’ (like God is having kids or something).

    What would make God small and finite is if he functioned under a punishment – reward system alone (as some churches teach about the simplification of God). Truth is, Christianity is into the simplification of God (making Him easy to understand, but too finite to believe in).

  11. Sorry, this is awful long. Needed to rant 🙂

    “The atonement theory is one of those things that isn’t, there are 7 theories on this issue” (societyvs)

    And yet I was confident of my salvation and the indwelling of the spirit immediately upon my conversion. Theory is one thing but actual experience is another. Is Jesus the magic pill that is sold like snake oil by many preachers today? No. People will corrupt anything for a dollar today, and the salvation of Christ is no exception. But an honest submission and conversion is not cheap and temporary. It is personal and grows over time.

    “What would make God small and finite is if he functioned under a punishment – reward system alone (as some churches teach about the simplification of God). Truth is, Christianity is into the simplification of God (making Him easy to understand, but too finite to believe in).”

    As I have said, I have parted ways from much of the churches mainline teachings. My God is not just a candy pusher, nor does He torment people eternally. My God is complex, more than I can comprehend. His vengeance is just and the world could not survive without it. His love is yearned for by many who will someday accept it and be amazed.

    And yet some of the most faithful people I have know are quite simple. Higher education is not necessary to have a relationship with God. And I would like to add that I admire your writing and opinions for many reasons but here is the main one. Your insistence that faith in Christ should (if not must) result in the lifting up of the poor and needy. One cannot say “I follow Jesus” and not do what He taught. A faithful Christian cares first for the physical needs, and does not judge who deserves restoration. Salvation should be naturally (or supernaturally) discovered, not shoved down our throats.

    Many today will not even consider the faith because of the evangelism tactics of many Christians. As you know, I was extremely angry with the problems of the religion for quite some time. But I have let it go. There is real faith out there that should not go unrecognized. I shudder to think what this world would be like without the faithful. And yet I do wonder sometimes if there isn’t more good done in this world by the “unbelievers”.

    As I know you always do, I will always examine the text and test it. I don’t compare it with other religions as you do, but I do have a working knowledge of the OT and the nation Israel (which has enriched my understanding of the NT immensely). I guess that has been mainly because I have this bias of a convincing relationship with God, through Jesus, via the Spirit.

    No, there is nothing cheap or simple about my God, my faith, or my conversion.

  12. “Theory is one thing but actual experience is another…But an honest submission and conversion is not cheap and temporary. It is personal and grows over time.” (Ken)

    I agree 100%. I talk a lot of theory – but then again – what do we think doctrines are made of? So I tackle those issues in an open and honest way. But I also am aware that experience counts for quite a bit in what someone’s faith actually ‘means’.

    I think that’s why I changed the blog caption to read ‘where theology meets reality’ – it takes both an understanding of scripture but also what it means in ‘action’ (which to me is the whole point of scripture – the way you live). Words + being the living word = faith.

    I don’t buy into a cheapness of faith either, I am searching for true sincerity in this faith…and I am finding it in a variety of places. Truth is, we are marketed to generation that is surrounded by quasi-realities (ie: life is becoming an advertisement)…we need to fight through a whole horde of layers of un-truths in this generation.

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