Item 1 was talking about how Christianity does not teach that sin is the intended result of free will, or that it is necessary to sin first before choosing good.
“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1-2
Most have heard the Christmas story. Jesus was born of a virgin, in a stable, and angels announced it.
It sounds like any other religion with its prophets and visions.
The reason I find The Gospels different is because they are so unpretentious. I’ve read some other gospels, and religious texts, and they are always told in a sort of sanctimonious tone. Making everything sound very holy and above our understanding.
That may seem fitting, certainly the church has done the same thing. But the Gospels themselves don’t do it. When they tell the story they state in it simple language, very matter of factly. Only getting excited when talking about glorifying God.
The whole Bible is full of stories like that. Miraculous stuff happens, and is told like it was the time of day.
Some call the Bible boring because of this. But I want to point out that it’s also very humble.
Which is astounding, since it is said to come directly from God himself.
That doesn’t prove it was true. I know that. But it’s different.
The humility of the Bible is important when considering how vital it is, if it is true.
But I digress.
According to the Bible, Jesus was God, and Jesus was man. There’s debate over what that means. But the best explanation I can give is that God, who made man in the first place. obviously could make his son into a man. HE doesn’t need help. The reason He used Mary was so that Jesus could be born into temptation, but not into sin itself. Which is handed down from the father, according to the word. Though also from the mother.
But God is sinless, so Jesus was able to choose that because He was God’s son.
It sounds crazy, but every religion sounds crazy if you look at it though what is possible to man. (That includes secular ones by the way.) If what you believe doesn’t sound nuts to someone, you don’t really have faith.
And there are those skeptics who will pick apart anything that’s a little outside their comfort zone. I trust that’s not any of you, but I’m sure you’ve met them.
So I don’t think we can discount the biblical story just because it sounds crazy. Even for human beings crazy does not equal impossible. (Did you know people have jumped down Niagara falls with no protection at all, and made it. Maybe it was just one person, but still.)
I think we should ask what makes the story of Jesus different from other faith figures.
I think there are others who were known as humble. But none quite so shockingly unique. I’ve been reading a book called “Beautiful Outlaw” about how Jesus is a collection of contradictions.
And I’m not one who is swayed bye very book I read about God, I discount plenty if it seems wonky. But this book has a very strong biblical foundation that anyone can appreciate.
I know that fact that Jesus seems to contradict himself can make it hard to buy.
However, when Jesus seems to do something, there is always a reason for it.
I want to address something else I heard on the internet now, the idea that we should not use the bible to shape our views of parenting, or of anything I imagine, because it is old and written from a mindset of thousands of years ago.
I’ll get more into that later, but for now I want to address the Christian belief that the Bible is the very Word of God. I don’t know if the Jews beleive that, or if they believe it about every book in the Old Testament. But Christians believe it about the whole thing.
And if that is so, then there’s no way God’s ideas can be outdated. Think about it.
But also, if that is true, what do we do with the fact that Christians do not follow Old testaments Law? IF it was the word of God, aren’t we hypocrites.
And Jesus said He did not come to remove he law but to establish it.
Jesus also allowed his disciples to break the law by plucking grain on the Sabbath so that they could eat. He also healed on the Sabbath. (Which is not forbidden by the way, but at the time it was condemned by the pharisees.) Sow hat gives? And why do Christian now balk at the passages that strongly condemn sinners to death or other horrendous punishments.
Well, the interesting thing is that until Jesus came, there weren’t a whole lot of peaceful gods in any religion. I’m not sure there were any. All the old mythology I know about had blood thirsty, or temperamental gods. And God has been accused of being the same. Though the prophets tell us that He takes no delight int he death of the wicked.
Jesus changed the fad.
The reason Christians believe that we can have more mercy now, and that we don’t have to eat certain foods and not eat others, and do all these rituals to purify ourselves is because Jesus did it all for us.
Christianity differ from Judaism int hat it start the work from the inside out, instead of the outside in. If you change inside, then outside you will soon follow. But outside first never changed anyone.
Jesus fulfilled the law not in that he enforced every single command, but that he brought us the real why behind them. He showed us that The sacrifices and eating and not eating were all things meant to tide us over, to teach us what holiness is through outward examples, but that it was never meant to actually take us there on it’s own.
God says this in Isiah when he mentions how the people honor him with their lips, and go through the motions of his commands “but their hearts are far from me.”
It is not hypocrisy for Christians to no longer practice some parts of the law, but actually part of what the whole faith is about. Being righteous inside first, not outside.
I can get a little more into that later that’s all for now–Natasha.