Monday, January 14, 2013

Searching for the Baby in the Bathwater --- a partial response

There are many and familiar questions raised by Libby Anne in this article. I will not presume to answer all those questions, but I will take up her cue on one of the "more troubling questions" in this article: why did God have to have his son murdered? I have no need to blast or malign her. Her struggles are not unique and quite common among the saints in Christ, and while they may not all survive they can all be raised up yet again. Rather, it is because the particular question concerning the death of Jesus on which I want to focus is as paramount as church, trinity, (a term for which I have no need or use) Bible and God and the status of absurd these take on with the erosion of faith and conviction.

At the risk of repelling the reader I find Anne's not-too-keen conclusion that "Christianity (a term for which I have no personal use, but will accept her use of it) was built on the foundation of actual literal (emphasis, gt) human sacrifice" a great insight of truth.

The parallelism between God and herself on forgiveness is priceless. She wonders why/how God could forgive people through the death of his son. After all, she can forgive people without the need to have something murdered. This, on the sole weight of her words, is true. However, what she overlooks is the need for her to DO something for, because or towards the one she forgives. This could be something she DOES, even if she never saw the person again, as passive as a change of attitude because she has forgiven. Outwardly, it might involve telling the person directly of the forgiveness she has extended to that person. The point is her forgiveness involved DOING something.

God did nothing different than Libby Anne. He also forgave, and, like her, he DID something beyond that forgiveness. Certainly, Jesus himself asked the Father to forgive those whose actions in the moment had resulted in his crucifixion. I will come to what Jesus DID following that forgiveness, later.

Imagine the blandness of a forgiveness without words or actions. If this is true of humans it would be totally appalling, and, rightfully unacceptable without the shedding of blood, if God forgave without words or actions? Even then, what if God merely THOUGHT to forgive the sins of man, but SAID nothing audible for human ears? And had God only SPOKEN through a colossal, universe size megaphone, "I FORGIVE YOU" for the hearing of all man how long before succeeding generations doubted and rejected the veracity of the testimony of their ancestors about the voice they claimed to have heard from the sky?

Here is the great STOP sign which will declare an end to all thought, actions, plans, good and bad deeds since the birth of the individual:death.

This is why God HAD to have his Son murdered, because anything less is as bland as forgiveness with words, without words or without actions. It would be just so many lovely, wonderful words or things done not unlike any other individual, and while the resurrection in itself does not make Jesus God incarnate it poses a matter for all to examine and judge. What is that matter to examine and judge? It is the fact that Jesus declared openly and unabashedly in the presence of friends and foes alike he would lay down his life and then took it up again.

As words go it is plausible SOMEONE in the history of the world may have uttered such a claim while they were alive, but who is that individual? Where is the testimony and record of his words as taken up by his followers? Jesus not only declared these things, but when these things were fulfilled after the resurrection there was no denial by his foes. Instead, they schemed to secure their positions of power and prestige.
None of this makes any sense to Libby Anne, nonbelievers and even some saints in Christ. She is right it is not to be accepted on faith; the default answer given by too many teachers and preachers to brothers and sisters, instead of the dialog of learning, when saints are caught up in the struggles of doubt. The stark, repelling reality is that death, human sacrifice, as Anne rightly describes it, is far more impressionable without the vague, obscure muddle served up on church, trinity, Bible and God.

Just as every human being experienced a birth they cannot remember but about which they have been told regarding time, place and parents; every human has a death before them regardless of their beliefs on church, etc. Death is the inescapable necessary reality every human being faces and it was necessary that the Creator and Giver of life, even while not being recognized as such, come into his own creation and declare then demonstrate that death is nothing to him; it is in the palm of his hand. This is the reason, Jesus, the incarnate God and by all outward appearances a human being, sacrificed himself willingly to accomplish his purpose: to draw all mankind to belief in Him.


  1. You have a point. It's in our actions that really prove whether or not we've actually forgiven someone, not merely words expressing it.

  2. Yes, and the same point Libby Anne makes about herself when she forgives is what God did on a far greater scale.