Monday, June 07, 2010

Musings

The Christian God makes no sense to me. He used to be angry and vengeful and then he had his Son brutally murdered and now it's hunky-dory? Someone told me recently about how she realized that we read into things in the Bible. For instance, it doesn't say that a sacrifice was required *by God* from Cain and Abel. I guess I take that further and combine it with the strong sense I have that the Bible was written by men. I'm not sure I believe much of the Old Testament. So why did Jesus use the Old Testament to present Himself? He had to choose a people who needed a Messiah and who might listen so He chose the Jews. He proceeded to teach them how to live. If I read the words of Jesus alone, I believe the things He said, the parts I understand anyway. But would the Jews have believed if He hadn't gone to the cross? Reading the Old Testament it sounds like they would not have believed if He hadn't been a literal sacrifice.
So what does that mean for me? For all of us? I don't know. The best I can come up with is to live the way He lived and the way He taught us to live. If that happens to coincide with the way Muhammad or Gandhi taught us to live then good. If it coincides with what you believe about how we treat each other regardless of religion or belief in a Higher Power then good.
That's as far as I've come. I don't know where this is taking me.
We rearranged our room yesterday to accommodate my new night stand. As I sorted through books I set a small Message version of the Bible on top of my new night table. Will I open it? I guess we'll see.

3 comments:

  1. I know that all of us read things into the Bible. It's not that it's excusable, but it's kind of impossible not to- good to realize we do it, though, and do our best not to. In the case of Cain and Abel, what they brought was actually described as an offering, not a sacrifice. Although the Bible never says an offering was "required," God does look favorably on Abel's offering, and when Cain brings a bad offering, God encourages him to "do what is right." So they weren't crazy to think they should bring an offering, and we aren't really reading into the Bible to think that we could do the same, although based solely on Genesis, it's not required.

    "Would the Jews have believed if He hadn't gone to the cross?" I don't know. But I think the more important point is "how could we be saved if He didn't go to the cross?" In the OT people paid a price for their sins, because that's what God requires for sin. In the NT, He requires the same, but Jesus paid that, so we don't have to. As a result, God doesn't seem so vengeful and full of wrath, because the punishment has already been given.

    Hey, I hope you open that Message!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just reread my post, and I'm sorry I sound like a know-it-all. I'll go ahead and out myself as a Bible college graduate, so hopefully I have a small excuse? :)

    Anyway, I do really try not to just regurgitate what I was taught, but to use logical thinking and keep an open mind about the Bible and about the social implications of Christianity.

    I do hold to pretty conservative values, but I think (hope) I don't always come off as the garden-variety Christian who always jumps on the bandwagon of judgement.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You didn't sound bad, I've just heard it all before as a fellow Bible college grad!
    Thanks for your input, I'm glad to know people are reading.

    ReplyDelete