Please know I write this in a pure state of curiosity. See, I’m entering the ministry in a tradition that’s kinda Christian-ey. I was raised Catholic-ish, so my fundamentals of popular Christianity (as our society knows them to be) are shaky at best.
To be honest, I’ve always had some resistance to the way Christianity has been portrayed to the world (mainly through dogma, doctrine, guilt, and other nonsense that only make the human condition worse).
But recently, I’m really digging some of these younger Christian pastors who work in megachurches (I can’t believe I just wrote that). Their message seems to be on-point with my beliefs and it’s awesome. However, there seems to be a couple things that I can’t wrap my faith around when it comes to their version of Christianity.
Below are just a few statements I pulled from one of these church websites (but many of them seem to commonly hold these as tenets of their faith). I’ll address each one in-line. If you have any light to shed on these, please highlight that particular section and respond (either publicly or privately — makes no difference to me)…
- We Believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God and that men were moved by the Spirit of God to write the very words of Scripture. Therefore, we believe the Bible is without error.
So, the Bible is without error? What does this mean? From what I’ve read, the Bible isn’t a straightforward checklist or rule book. It’s a topsy-turvy, convoluted, bizarre, shocking, beautiful collection of stories, accounts, prayers and poems that seem to contradict each other at every turn.
- We believe Jesus Christ to be the virgin born Son of God who lived in flesh, died for the sins of the world, was buried, rose again bodily, and ascended to the Father.
Okay, so the part I’m fighting here is this one: “…died for the sins of the world.” So, did God call for a blood offering? Did he need someone to die in order to ‘pay for’ these supposed ‘sins’? What exactly is Jesus dying for and what good does it do?
(This one is the kicker for me, below…)
- We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the only way for the forgiveness of sin. God freely offers salvation to those who place their faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for their sin. Salvation cannot be earned, it is a gift from God.
Really? Wow… So it looks here like this God WAS calling for a blood offering. How is this different from the pagan traditions that most Christians rail against? And ‘sufficient payment’? So this is a tit for tat? Like God was pissed and needed someone to die, so his only son (according to this belief system) had to be the one?
Honestly, I don’t know if I can get behind this story. If you can, I’d love to know how you came around to it. Or whatever you think about it.
Speak freely. You’ll get no argument from me. Just a silent, open mind.
(But any trolls will ruthlessly be blocked and reported, stat.)
Looking forward to seeing your responses.