Making Up Belief(s) – Christian Doctrine

Here is a great question:

If what you are saying is true (about atonement and Jesus’ blood covering us all) and is what is being taught by Jesus (or the disciples) – how come the gospels never lay the story out the way churches teach it? How come the theology is always a patchwork of teachings (from various letters and books) that make an interpretive deliverable that benefits the church doctrine/belief?

Reason I bring this up is because there are a variety of Christian beliefs, codified by church belief statements and dogma, that support the very grounding and integrity of that church. I find most of them developed belief systems that are supported by patchwork theological beliefs from various places in letters and books, and in some cases, are not verifiably true of the total 27 texts of the NT or 66 texts of the whole bible. In essence, an interpretation is serving as truth.

Some examples:

  • Virgin birth – misinterpretation of Hebrew from Isaiah 7:14 to Greek – about ‘young woman‘ and ‘virgin‘. Only found in 2 of 4 gospels, not in Acts, nor in the letters (Paul skips over this crucial idea all the time for some reason). In fact, the evidence is so scant for this belief yet it makes for good narrative so the uses in Matthew and Luke (likely both additions from a myth) that it’s inclusion makes all the sense in the world – makes Jesus ‘sensational‘.
  • Trinity – not found in the gospels (except for the one mention in John 8) and not a belief Jesus even followed (according to Mark’s gospel and his Jewish tradition). This is a patchwork of passages from a variety of places and sewn together to make it seem like a key and easy belief to follow – maybe mentioned a handful of times making up maybe .005% of total passages in the NT. How this became a key element of faith is beyond – oh right – church voting made it legit (‘rolls eyes to back of his skull‘).
  • Atonement – the idea that Jesus shed his blood to pay for the sins of all humanity – found in the letter of Hebrews (which may not have been written by Paul and has a huge Gentile slant to it). This idea seems to be read backwards from that letter (date uncertain – some think 60’s – some think 100’s+) into the gospel texts, letters, and Tanakh. It’s a scapegoat theory that leads to the idea you can be forgiven for everything you’ve ever done – past, present, future – just by accepting this blood sacrifice to ‘wash your sins away‘ (or like Carrie – be bathed in blood). In fact, it lets the sinner off the hook and runs counter to much of what Jesus taught concerning ‘accountability‘ for one’s actions.

Juss saying – if any of this is true – how come no one in the disciples or Paul don’t just ‘lay it out there’ for all to see clearly.

American Family Association – Christian Values Gone Crazy

The American Family Association is a conservative Christian organization, headed up by Fischer, who said on CNN: “It’s an attempt to push the normalization of homosexual behavior in public schools and to eventually punish students who would express a Judeo-Christian view of sexuality.” – American Family Association Compares ‘Mix It Up at Lunch Day’ to “Poisoned Halloween Candy”

If you read the story the ‘Mix It Up‘ campaign is to get students to meet other students and switch seats in the common eating area during lunch – to promote inclusivity. But the Evangelical think-tank that is the American Family Association see’s a whole other agenda – which is ker-azy!

Who are the AFA?

Here is there Belief Statement:

AFA STATEMENT OF FAITH

1.  We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

2.  We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3.  We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

4.  We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

5.  We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

6.  We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost;  they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

7.  We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

They really are not any different than any Christian church I have seen and read belief statements about. Yet, and I am pretty sure this will be the case, Christians will say they are not part and parcel with this group and it’s ideas…yet these 7 statements they will agree with.

Truth is, and some people in these churches are more progressive, this is the kind of things Evangelical churches do on a daily basis – from your local church in your neighborhood to across the country. I think it’s best we dialogue them on some of this.

Religious Texts Presuppose There is a System of Faith

“but if there was a system in place where man through his actions alone could become holy and righteous then man would not need God…” (Xander)

Speaking of ‘systems in place for man’s actions’ – what are Judaism and Christianity’s roles then? They offer advice on how to live in a holy and ordained way so as to access and be closer to God – no? Are they not dependent on your actions – concerning your closeness to God and the such?

Also, Judaism, the fore-runner to Christianity, was designed by God for humans to follow to get closer to God (not by man per se – as is also the Christian claim about their scriptures). God designed it, not humans so your point about ‘man trying to do it on his own’ is faulty – because you pre-suppose man created the system (ie: religion) whereby he gets nearer to God – this is not the case in either Judaism or Christianity.

Problem: Pre-supposition that humans following their religious texts are being too legal about their beliefs and not following God. However, if the texts were ‘God-breathed’ isn’t it sensible for those followers to adhere to the texts quite closely?