So this is the basic Christian storyline. God sacrificed his only son, he was crucified, he rose from the dead in three days so that we can live forever. So what is a sacrifice?
The word in the bible sacrifice has two basic meanings. That is to "give up something" as in I have made many sacrifices for my children. The other is very specific in meaning religious ceremony, ritual of killing animals for God. Jesus is called the lamb of god and is supposed to have been sacrificed in the animals place. But was he? Never is a martyr considered a sacrifice. Never a soldier. Abraham almost sacrificed his son able. Japheth did slit his daughters throat and torch on an alter as a human sacrifice. There is simply no context for Jesus to even be considered a ritualistic sacrifice.
Now let's look at the importance of animal sacrifice. Here's were a family's actual money, food, clothing and made up many household effects. People have bred the best of the best of their stock for (we know for sure) over 6-8 thousand years. Thus we have breeds of livestock all over the world that are and always have been improving. That's man's plan.
Gods plan is a little different. He demanded the best of the best stock to be killed(cause he liked it). Thus leaving humans with progressively inferior stock. In other words according to Gods plan a family's stock would become progressively worse with every sacrifice to God. These perfect animals genetics could never be replaced only substituted with inferior replacements. So this was a true giving something up for God. Prosperity for one's future.
So back to Jesus. He was executed as a common dissident according to Roman custom. There was no ritual or religious context. He is resurrected in 2 1/2 days (not 3) and becomes or returns to being God and returns to Heaven. Just where the Hell is the sacrifice by any definition? He actually transcends into a higher being and this is called a sacrifice. Really? Just what was given up. A big fat nothing, in fact Jesus became an immortal God.
So this is the basic story of the four gospels. Compelled's would be much better. Jesus would walk into the temple, then into the holy of holies. He then would lie down on the small alter. God would come down and slit his throat and burn him to a crispy critter in front of himself and everyone. Jesus would be resurrected in three days and God would send Jesus(part of himself) directly to Hell to be tortured forever. Then for good measure I would throw in that the reason we suffer, the reason prayers aren't answered, the reason we can't see or detect God is because that part of God is in Hell suffering for us.
So this really leaves us with only two viable options.
1) The Christian story was made up by man and want even a very well thought out story.
(normally I would go for number one out of hand but I like this one better in the given circumstance.)
2)God is real and the story of the bible is completely true.
There is a little problem with number 2. God has a sacrifice that gives up nothing and is without ceremony or religious ritual. It also leaves loose ends such as why is God not apparent or active in the world. God was obviously did not think these things through. Compelled just made his story up and had a real sacrifice, both "to give up" and a ritualistic ceremony in which the Jews would recognize readily, and explained why God seems to be "out of the building, in five sentences.
So if one in this case must accept that God in real, than they must also accept that Compelled is smarter th a God.
Yes, it's a fact that the bible story of the sacrifice is not very well thought out. If you lay something down and then pick it up again you have no sacrifice at all. The bible claims Jesus "laid down his life" but took it up again. Where is the sacrifice? Loss of life does not count if this was his purpose anyway. At best the Jesus death and resurrection is like having a bad weekend with the National Guard.
Biblical stories of Jesus going into hell and then returning with the "keys of hell and death" should not be taken literally unless we know of a literal key for such a place. Jesus has conquered death and you will also if you believe in him, but you still have to die to attain this. It's nonsense. It smacks of a mystery religion but the followers take it all as literal and true. Paul's version of religious events seem more along this area also, but many ignore this because Paul could never tell if he was "in or out of his body" when he had religious experiences.This leaves the "soul door" wide open and guarantees that you never lose consciousness, and we all know that this is not true. All that is needed to prove it is to talk with someone who had lost consciousness.
Christianity is a death cult designed (among other things) to take fear out of dying. Our parents lied to us while thinking they would make us better off. If there were no such beliefs how would kings get their armies? The strange thing is that people still want to believe such things today and that religion has a close relationship with "being patriotic." Just a handful of us have figured this out.
I remember seeing people actually crying because of Jesus "great sacrifice". Then exclaiming he has risen. I always thought that sacrifice was permanent, it just didn't seem to apply to Jesus.
On another note it may seem a bit cocky to end with compelled being smarter than God. I did this for humor and contrast. In fact anything that can think and actually exist is indeed smarter than God.
How many times have we heard it? "Jesus had a bad weekend for your sins." There are people living in Darfur, Bangladesh, and elsewhere who would give their eyeteeth to just have to deal with a "bad weekend."
Jesus had a bad weekend for our sins just doesn't sound very compelling, but at any rate if that's true, then we should all be sinning otherwise he had a bad weekend in vain.
Things to keep in mind here, Fred, are the Greek rendering of "sin" as demonstrated in the writings of Paul. Sin is described as "missing the mark" and the language used is similar to an archer shooting at a target. If he misses the target he has "missed the mark." This is it in plain language.
Many people who are sidetracked on this issue keep asking if certain acts are "sins." It gets amusing somewhat because nobody can live up to the 'holiness claims" of scripture that those of authority have set aside for us. Everyone "misses the mark."
This is why religion cuts you like a knife and then it offers you the bandage. There is no way that anyone living could ever be good enough. You are to imagine Jesus tortured and killed upon a cross as you live your life through him daily with this in mind. You simply are not worthy of this great honor. If you die as he did daily then someday after you have really died you might come back to life through him to live forever.
This is why Christianity is a death cult. No one is getting out alive. Through him you have "hope." Some call that hope "faith." Today I call it nonsense!
So do I, Michael. And as far as I'm concerned, plenty of other people have suffered far worse than Jesus did, quite a few at the hands of Jesus' worshipers and for no reason other than that they somehow "sinned" in the eyes of the murderers, including the state/church authorities.
I concur Michael. Much of it seems to be the psychology of religion. Reading the clergy project things tells much about it. I also went through those things as I was going through my escaping of the Lutheran Missouri Synod. I still have those darn thinking things that tell me if I would have been told by pastors that actually told what they learned in seminary I would have escaped being a believer even faster.