Justia Dei

Our ‘evil’ discussion has morphed into a discussion on original sin. So, how is one ‘saved?’ That is, what are we ‘saved’ from, and what are we ‘saved’ to, and in what way does Christ save us? Also, how are we ‘justiied,’ that is, made right before God?

20 thoughts on “Justia Dei

  1. I didn’t ask Jesus to die on a cross for my sins. Had anyone asked, I would have said “errmm, no thanks, I really want no part of that…”

    Why did Jesus have to die on the cross to “save” us? Jehova, Yahweh, whatever, Creator of the Entire Universe–surely he could have come up with a more savory way to forgive us than to crucify an innocent man–his son. Talk about a complete lack of imagination on the part of the master mind!

  2. Fearth,
    Doesn’t sound like you consider him you’re ‘master’ at all, am I correct?

    What’s your plan with lots of imagination?

  3. Fearth,

    So, let me see, if you were God, you would…what? What exactly would your plan be? Or, are you just trying to score cleverness points by being critical.

    I’m sure you must have a great explanation for evil, for sin, for the meaning of life, for our purpose here, for the reason and rationality of creation, an explanation for what is wrong in the world and why, a coherent personal philosophy. Your comment was a chat room level comment. Put your jock on, Fearth. We’re really talking here. Bring it.

  4. Morpheus,

    I didn’t think this forum was a game and my ego is too insufficient for me to want to win points of any stripe. I do try to think critically, however, and I do have a lot of questions about this ancient religion. I do not purport to have any answers, clever or not, just a lot of questions. That’s why I’m here.

    I am simply searching and seeking, and I know that my views have been shaped, and are being shaped, by people who hold different views. I ask to learn. Really.

    But stepping back from Christianity and looking at it all a bit objectively, why did the game have to play out as it did?

    Who made God kill his only son to save us from our sins? He’s God, after all, couldn’t he have just sent a huge manna-bearing rainbow and said, “you know, I’m sorry, I made you imperfect, I knew if I gave you free-will you could choose to displease me, I knew it in advance, Im okay with the consequences of my own decisions. You’re forgiven.” How is the murder of an innocent man atonement for anything?

    The world has seen a lot of religions, and most really are not so filled with blood and gore as this one seems to be.

    Is God really loving?

    Fearth Eon

  5. Please forgive me for monopolizing the thread so far (I will pipe down after this one, I promise) but I forgot to answer Father Neo.

    First of all, Father, thank you very much for this forum and allowing non-Christians to rub elbows with the believers. I absolutely mean no disrespect to anyone nor do I mean to offend anyone personally with my questions. If I do, let me know, and I will move on with heartfelt apologies.

    No, I do not consider the God of Christianity to be my master. I once did.

    Imagination gives my life resonance, but my beliefs tend to rest on what makes the most logical sense to me. I believe there is a force which flows through all of creation and that we are only a temporary manifestation of a fragment of that force.

    I beleive that if science could definitively answer two questions, religions across the globe would vanish. The two questions are, of course, “Why are we here?” and “What happens to us after we die?”

    Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming.


  6. Fearth….

    For an intresting view on science and the bible look into Chuck Missler. I don’t know if I agree with everything he has to say, but it is incredibly intresting.

    To your question of as to why Jesus had to die on the cross.

    What would we learn if God just said, “all right all good, have fun”. This is also the problem I have with being saved by faith alone or salvation by the bible views. If it were that easy then what would be the point. If I could just say, “ok jesus is my lord and savior” then poof I’m all right and can continue to do what I want. What would be the point of that.

    God all through the bible has preffered the sacrafice of a living lamb. These sacrafices have were for normal things. Now what would we have to offer God that could constitute forgiveness of all the sins of all the world.

    There are many prophcies of Jesus in the Old Testament of the Messiah. But the most intresting I’ve heard lately is that Abraham sacraficing his son is actually a prophecy of God sacraficing his only son. What do you think?


  7. If I may…

    Fearth, not every christian believes the standard line that God “had” to have Jesus die to “pay for our sins” – the righteous one paying for those who could not otherwise pay.

    Some believe that Jesus is God’s son. He came preaching love, justice, peace. “Liberty for the captives, good news for the poor!”

    And Jesus came telling us this to show us the Way, that we might follow in His steps.

    And when folk live like Jesus lived and taught what Jesus taught, that is a threatening thing to the powers that be (who tend to prefer a “good news for the wealthy and powerful” gospel) and so they/we killed him.

    But because goodness is stronger than hatred, light is stronger than dark, Jesus lives on in those who follow this Way. And sometimes, those who follow in this Way get crucified, as well.

    Still, it is the right way to live, many believe. To live otherwise is to choose hell on earth over God’s kingdom. It is to choose that might makes right and all else just sucks.

    That’s what some Christians believe.

  8. Seraph said in reference to comments made by Mr. Trabue, “For a Baptist, you sure have an aversion to the book of Romans.”

    Ah, but so do the Orthodox, Seraph, at least in the way in which you would call upon what some would label or identify as the pinnacle epistle of St. Paul.

    Here are my thoughts on the subject of soteriology. We are brought to wholeness, or “saved,” over the course of a lifetime, and beyond frankly, in my opinion, by the steadfastness of God’s perfect and unconditional love. That process, or journey, is punctuated by any number of life events—i.e. the Sacrament of Baptism, partaking in Holy Eucharist, as yes, as Dan says, living the Sermon on the Mount and overcoming evil with good (even though I can’t seem to do this in the smallest measure—too much of a libertarian for that I suppose).

    In the person and work of Christ, we are “saved” by everything He did and does, His life in total in other words—the Incarnation (maybe by this more than anything else), His ministry…yes…His death, Resurrection, and Ascension. Second Coming? I have no idea on this one.

    As to the sacrifice of the cross—I don’t buy for one moment that it was required, but as sure as I live and breath, it was certainly inevitable. The whole notion of substitution needs a return to a metaphor that has long been out of favor, that the atonement was an “at-one-ment” with His creation, even to the point of death—the ultimate identification with us, His broken creation. His death was truly sacrificial, as He substituted perfect love for everything contrary, and, hence, overcame evil with perfect goodness—it was the Sermon on the Mount demonstrated (once again as Dan pointed out). No payment of debt to the Father, no ransom paid to the Evil One, just God doing what God does—loving with every inch of His being.

  9. …what C said.

    And, for the record, I’m much closer to being an anabaptist than a baptist, and there’s an ever-increasing chasm between the two.

  10. I read recently, that there is more to sin than simply breaking a moral code. That sin is a result of disconnect from God.

    Thus, to be saved is to reconnect with God continuous via prayer.

    Christ existed to show the Jews, and the future Christians that followed him that connection with God is not something reseved only for Rabbis, Priests, and Monks, but for all of us.

    Buddists and Taoists would look at this as awareness of the collective soul or the Tao. For them, spirituality is intensly personal. Christ brought this to the west.

    Granted, this conclusion comes from about two weeks of real stufy of Christianity, so I could be way off the mark here, but it feels right.

  11. Tristan,

    Sin is indeed that… in the gospels, the word is the Greek word “amartia” (to use the roman alphabet) meaning, “To miss the mark” — very much a disconnect from God. To come back, we have to turn around from missing the mark, the word repent, in the gospels, is “metanoite”, literally, to turn around 180 degrees. (not 360 degrees! (grin))

    I’m off to go camping with my boy and his Nuno, so I don’t have time for more…

  12. Fr Neo asks, “how are we ‘justified,’ that is, made right before God?”

    In Matthew, Christ in the sermon on the mount says we must become righteous (Mat 6:33 ‘seek first the kingdom and all its righteousness’), and in that sermon (Mat 7:24 if I recall) this is done by hearing His words and doing them. The words in between sum up what we are to do: charity, prayer, fasting, trusting in the Lord, and not judging.

    So, at least, that is what Christ says in his most famous sermon…

  13. I would not recommend Missler to anyone. I think I heard him on television a few times, while I was a guest. I just did an internet search and found his theories. Missler does have some ideas that are worth keeping in the back of your mind, but that is about all I would give them. The anti-Christians get a lot of traction from this type of work.

    In some ways Missler work serves one purpose, it does go to show that science has not disproved God. On the other hand his evidence that science is proving a nearly Biblical literal of creation is speculative.

    So, how is one ‘saved?’ We are saved though Christ.

    That is, what are we ‘saved’ from, and what are we ‘saved’ to, This is an interesting question given that the term saved is often assumed to an event. While for many acceptances of Christ was an event, it need not be an event. My simple answer to the simple reading of the question is that we are saved from the eternal consequences of our sin.

    I do not know if I have an answer for what we are saved to. My best quick answer is that we are saved to a sanctification path. That is an over simple answer in some ways. I say this to distance myself from the idea that we are saved in an event, and that we cannot do anything to which will reverse that salvation.

    and in what way does Christ save us? While there are other ways, the expected way is Baptism as a sacrament. This is what God and the Church have established. God is free to give his grace in other manners, but Baptism is the primary means provided by the Church.

    Also, how are we ‘justiied,’ that is, made right before God? Here I would say confession is the expected way.


  14. Fr. Neo: Nothing dramatic happened, just got tired of praying and having the overwhelming feeling that no one was listening, felt as though I was participating in a superstitious ritual we all would laugh at were it not so deeply entrenched in our history and society and taken for granted. Of course, I could be wrong. Also, I am starting to realize that perhaps just the act of faith may have its own inherent power regardless of the doctrinal trappings.

    Dan and others: I really am very impressed with your comments. I am most responsive to the thought that Jesus did not “have” to die, but god perhaps was trying to teach by example and let the corrupting influence of man’s institutions “destroy” his perfect gift, which, like in the agrarian fertility myths, was reborn.

    I’ll check out Missler with a skeptical mind as new-age hookey pokey often rides piggy-bag on gloss interpretations of quantum physics, ala the embarassingly bad “What the Bleep Do We Know.” Thanks for the lead, though.

    Someone mentioned the east-west connection or link through Jesus. I think that is pretty astute. Some commentators have suggested the essence of Christianity is embodied in “do unto others as you have them do unto you” and “love thine enemy as thy neighbor” which, really are amazingly similar to buddhism. The book of St. Thomas from the Dag Hammadi scrolls is chock full of cyptic quotes from Christ having a zen-like or buddhist tone.

    Thanks to all for not booting my agnostic arse out of the forum. You are helping me see some issues I’ve had from a different angle.

    Back to my hole.

  15. Fearth,

    It took me about thirty years of Eastern meditation practices and very close relationship with a guru to find Jesus. Hope you find him faster. He’s the real deal. Drawing closer to him through prayer, if it’s spiritually dry, needs a scriptural support and some REAL worship. Try Matthew or John for the first, though the Psalms are good, too. Then get in front of an orthodox worship experience. Find one here: http://www.americananglican.org/site/c.ikLUK3MJIpG/b.564151/k.A336/Affiliate_Parishes.htm, or go to the denomination of your choice, but stay among the non-apostate churches. You can get a lot of pink in your quest if you don’t watch out. The Gospel of Thomas and the other gnostic gospels are new age bunk. Stay away. The REAL gospels are written in the first century by those who knew Him, not made up by story tellers trying to pack a sect.

    God be with you, Fearth.

  16. One other thing.

    Don’t look alone. Get a spiritual brother to walk with you. Someone ahead of you on the path, if possible. Someone to watch your back. If you stumbled in here, Christ is calling you with a tractor beam. The Enemy won’t like this step of yours. You need someone to watch your back for the attack that will come.

    Pax vobiscum

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