Jesus as Saviour of All

It seems like this is an important idea for so-called Christians. But for someone who calls himself Christian this is an affront. To a true Christian, to whom love is the only law, Jesus as saviour of all is unacceptable. It would be a violation of love to accept Jesus’ execution as a salvific event because injustice is inconsistent with love. No system of love can involve an execution, or somehow depend upon an execution. But more than just breaking the law of love, the idea in itself is simply illogical, which is more precisely why I question it here. How does one man’s execution lead to everyone’s redemption? Love aside, how does this logic work?

There are two possibilities: Jesus can be saving us all from sin or saving us all from suffering. Rearticulated, Jesus is the source of all forgiveness or the deliverer from all evil. Thus the gauntlet is set: how does a terrible sin save us all from sin? Or if not sin, suffering?

Jesus’ death didn’t save me from either sin or suffering; you can speak for yourself. If sin, then Jesus must have forgiven me. But what debt does Jesus have to forgive me? What wrong did I ever do Jesus? The question here becomes: how can Jesus forgive in place of others, in place of those who were truly sinned against? If I steal from a man, isn’t it only that man who can forgive me?

If suffering, then why is there still so much suffering in the world?

The only ones Jesus saved from sin or suffering are those he forgave or helped along his way. Being Christian isn’t believing that Jesus saved everyone in his death, but that he saved others in his life. Being Christian is not believing in an illogical idea that contradicts love, but following Jesus’ way of life and saving those we meet like Jesus did in his life.

While it it true Jesus died for our sins, being saved can only come about if we believe in Him and accept Him as our Saviour. If we do not do that simple act in recognizing His Ressurection after dying, then we can not be saved through Him. His death will not keep us from suffering, but He will never forsake us. I do not relish the thought of Jesus’ suffering and death, but I am humbly grateful He is God incarnate. For those who take it in faith this so, they will have everlasting life. Not in this worldly sense, but that of the eternal spirit. Some people can not do this because they are blinded by satan’s deceptions. These people want to deny this to be an incredulous act because for them it is an intangible concept. They can’t take the one step that will be their saving grace…that is utilizing ‘faith’. Once they do, God will in time speak to their hearts and mind, plus show them things this physical universe won’t.

But why did Jesus die for our sins? What does his execution have to do with our sins? There’s a missing link here…

And what does it mean to be saved? How does having faith in the resurrection lead to our salvation?

I refer to this verse in the Bible:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

– John 3:16 (KJV)

Jesus’ death was planned by God we all would be with Them in Heaven. God wants His children to be with Him always. In order for this to have happened an Angel of God visited Mary and told her God was giving her a child and to call Him Jesus. Mary loved God very much and accepted His Will. Thus, this made Jesus born without sin and the perfect person to carry out God’s Plan for our Salvation. It was Jesus’ lot in life to suffer persecution because the Jews viewed Him as a heretic which countermanded their tradional beliefs. They could not and still today can not accept Him as the Messiah foretold in early Bible accounts. I believe they expected a glorious king which stand out above all others. Not some child born in a manger born to a poor mother and father in the most humblest circumstances. He grew up as any child with God holding Him in high countenance for His path was known to God as the Saviour of the world. We can not know God’s mind or understand His reasoning. Our thoughts are rudimentary next to His. All things will be made known to us when we ascend to be with God and His Son, Jesus.

Now, this is the right thread for what you were asking about in the Son of God thread, so I’ll move it over here and answer your response. :wink:


Jesus as Savior of All:
This one is always simple in my mind.

Jesus died because God constantly shows a need for a blood sacrifice.
The Hebrews were constantly sacrificing their purest stock, and Jesus was the purest stock that the Hebrews (and arguably mankind) had to offer.
Jesus seemed well aware of this, and even shows us that it was needed as if it wasn’t needed, he simply requested God to not force it. Unfortunately, blood sacrifice is apparently a requirement for atonement and forgiveness on a divine level.

This is similar to, in LDS, Joseph Smith, who had premonition that he was going to die, and even asked God for another method, but God explained that such was needed; that the promises and instructions passed through Joseph Smith were to be sealed with blood.

This is a common theme in the Bible, and Jesus’ point was to shed Blood for sin specifically.

This isn’t a difficult concept of any kind, other than it is a blood sacrifice, but it is one that is from that which is near to God and more valued to God; a part of God.
This makes the entire act mean that God, in part, felt the pain directly of the agony of sin when man has to face his own guilt, and in so doing allows God to let Jesus act on behalf of man in the idea of atonement.
That Jesus is the primary defender of man’s forgiveness; that he will, and has, gone to the fullest lengths to defend just so.
On the other side is the prosecutor; Satan, with all of the evidence ready for how man has neglected to choose God time and time again.
In the middle of this, is God; the judge of the evidence.

To this end, Satan had to suffer being cast out of God’s presence to become the prosecutor, and Jesus had to endure pain and suffering as a man tortured and killed.

God had to lose his two favored sons; Jesus, and Satan to allow his angels the ability to become man and to have free agency to choose God on their own.

Your response

Right, and that’s because he shows up as the last sacrifice.

Here…let me just walk through Hebrews with you a bit:
(Oh, and stuff is bold, underlined, enlarged, etc…, to pop certain text out to you, not to shove it upon you. :wink: )

Now, if you don’t believe that, then that’s fine.
But the concept is straight out of the Bible, it’s not an idea that was constructed post hoc.

It is not arbitrary, and it directly links to the Hebrew custom.

Stumps,

I’m not going to deny any of this. I could say many things against it, for example that we don’t even know who wrote Hebrews, or that the Bible, as an anthology, is infused with countless theologies, and that God has had a changing character throughout the tradition. But these are well known facts that many, including I, have used to defend what they think is the central thread of Scripture.

All I want to say is that I try to be consistent. Unlike most I don’t accept the various and often inconsistent claims of Scripture through faith, but I try to show how they follow from what I think are the basic presuppositions of the text (and I reject those that don’t). The most basic presupposition, or what I think is the central theme, is love. God is a God of love. And since to me everything has to follow rational lines, I can’t possibly accept the foregoing, that Jesus’ death saves us from sin.

This belief is inconsistent with love. As Dostoevsky says through the character Ivan Karamazov, the world would be unacceptable if it was purchased with innocent tears. I agree, and so I reject the notion that Christ died for our sins…

I see no logic behind Jesus needing to die for the sins of the world other than god is somewhat of a sadist. Considering he makes the rules as almighty creator, he doesn’t have to require anything to forgive, god chose to. That is if you believe in it all, which I don’t,because I can’t, because it doesn’t make sense in the big picture, so take from it what you will.

alyoshka, the Bible wasn’t intended to be taken in part. You can’t pick and choose at your whim. In the case of the Jewish faith, The Old Testament is solely relevant. For people who accept Jesus, both The Old and New Testament are necessary for Christians.

It’s commendable you find Jesus teachings and God’s Love to be followed. What is so hard about taking the next step and use faith? Is it because you are sacred, proud or skeptical? You can’t use reason or logic to put God in a place where everything feels all warm and fuzzy that will bend to your dictates. You might as well try to freeze water over an open flame…it just won’t happen.

Physical laws of the universe won’t divert to please scientists. Those laws are constants. God’s realm is the same way. Man can not change or vary His Ways to suit our needs either. Those are constants. Religion is just a vehicle wherein ritual helps us remember God. The Bible is the source which we thereby achieve our salvation. Follow those with prayer and fellowship, then our lives have value.

Aly:
I was just answering the inconsistancy in your previous statement:

You held an example of Jesus:

But you lacked the example of Jesus dying for sin.
If you simply don’t acknowledge that content from the Bible, then that just means what I’ve constantly said; you aren’t a Christian; you are an exegist specializing in tropology in the Christian Bible…actually, only the Christian Bible of Protestants even, as I doubt you are using the extra 14 books of Eastern Orthodoxy, or the extra 17 books of Catholicism, or the extra 3 books of LDS, etc… etc…

Honestly, if you just wanted the best resource available for moral guidelines, I would suggest picking up the full Catholic Bible and add to it the LDS book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenant, and Pearl of Great Price.

If you just want moral guidelines through the theme of western religion, I would imagine that you would prefer the largest body of text to select from; this is why I suggest grabbing the above suggestions.

It’s not capable to understand as long as you don’t attempt to understand the Hebrew construct.

You have reduced the option to Sadist or No Salvation; which isn’t all of the options that are possible.

That assumes that God is not restrained by some other binding that is not clear to us.

There is decent argument that one could make that God is held bound in some manner from doing anything that God wants to do.
For instance, God wanted Man, but created man on an Earth instead of in heaven with God.
That shows a limitation if you wonder why God would place a being that God wants to be around away from God’s immediate presence.

For instance, God made everything in the Garden of Eden, but apparently could not remove the tree of Knowledge.
That shows a limitation; either God could not remove the tree, or God needed the tree to be there.

For instance, God holds back from saving Jesus from the Cross.
That shows a limitation; God bowed to the wish of Jesus instead of God over riding Jesus.

For instance, God didn’t want to send Jesus to die, nor did Jesus want to die.
That shows a limitation; God nor Jesus could reconcile themselves to do this another way, for some unknown reason.

I agree that the exact metaphysical point isn’t clear, other than what is stated in Hebrews, “a will is not enacted until after death”, and that for that reason Jesus had to die.

So, there it is. A larger picture that could suggest that there is some limitation to God, but a limitation that far exceeds our limitations.

And then there is the first option; perhaps God is indeed sadistic.

If God is restrained by some other binding that is only because he created that binding or at least agreed to it, knowing all consequences it would produce. Bottom line, God is responsible for making an illogical connection between slaughtering innocent things in order to forgive the sins of guilty beings.

Why must we take the whole text, or everything written in the tradition for that matter, and go to ridiculous ends just to make it all fit together?

Let’s be honest, and in the process perhaps make our lives a little easier, and say that MAYBE, just maybe, the texts in any tradition, whether religious or scientific or historical, are NOT meant to be a unified whole? i.e., if I were to compile an anthology of science texts from across the centuries, who in their right mind would think that they formed a unified and consistent discourse, i.e., that each text corroborated the next? Who in their right mind would fault science if they didn’t?

Each text in any tradition has its own presuppositions, its own motivations and methods, and it would be an absurd assumption that one is necessarily consistent with the other, as seems to be the constant assumption with the texts that make up the Bible. In the end we have to use our best judgment. We have to read the various texts in the tradition and yes, pick and choose those that we think corroborate each other and that fit what we think is the central theme of the tradition.

So Stumps, to address your charge of inconsistency again, I don’t accept “Jesus dying for our sins” as consistent with what I see to be the central theme of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and so I reject the texts that suggest otherwise.

Does this make religion and science and everything else for that matter subjective? Sure does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss what we think the core idea of any tradition is. Once again, to me the core idea of this tradition is unconditional love. Starting with this and this alone, I can start accepting and rejecting various texts within the tradition which clearly have a different idea, i.e., I can reject the texts that accept Jesus as a blood sacrifice to save us from sins.

Note: my rejection of such texts doesn’t relieve me of the burden of showing why I reject them, nor does it mean I’m not open to new readings of them, or that I’m not open to challenges to what I think is the central theme of the tradition.

The problem is, regarding the idea that Jesus died for our sins, all I get in response is citations and “you must have faith”. I get nothing that shows how such an idea is consistent with unconditional love nor any challenges to this being the central idea of the tradition.

So sorry, but I can’t accept this idea on faith alone. To do so would be irresponsible, and I don’t think doing so makes me any less Christian.

The point of faith isn’t to accept the wildest of propositions (like there is a super-being out there called God). Someone with faith is someone who gives all that they have to life. Such a one has faith because they trust they’ll be provided for. In other words, faith makes possible the life that knows no limits to its generosity. Faith isn’t meant to be the reason for accepting absurd statements.

Faith is the whole crux of Christianity. I’m sorry I don’t have answers that will satisfy you. Maybe in time the questions you ask will make themselves known. Apparently answers aren’t coming in this philosophy site.

Yes, faith does go to the heart of Christianity.

But understand me: it is NOT faith in farfetched principles (like the existence of a super-being called God or that Jesus died for our sins). Rather it is having the faith to live the Christian life.

The Christian life is quite simply: serve others, and trust you’ll be provided for.

Faith is the “trust you’ll be provided for” part.

And believe me, this kind of faith is FAR HARDER than faith in absurd propositions… It means giving all that you have to others and believing you’ll be supported. In our world, you’d have to be a fool to have such a belief (although I don’t think that’s reason enough to reject the Christian life).

That again makes an assumption that we are not able to know the truth of.

We have no idea if God is or is not the absolute stopping point of everything that is.
We can safely assume that God is the relative stopping point of everything we can discern.

Truly; what is everything to the ancient mind?

Over time, our understanding of God’s placement has not changed in perspective with what we expand to discern, but instead as we expand to discern more we redefine God to include that which is suddenly known.

This is constantly done, but without any logical justification for doing so other than a word: everything, which, like “star” is highly subjective in it’s use in any ancient text, especially science and theological texts of ancient times.

For instance, the author of Genesis did not go through any lengths to describe the creation of anything outside of the solar system as apparently, this was their, “everything”.

If they meant more than this, we will never know, as the description of creation does not use pluralities of “Sun’s” denoting multiple solar systems.

So which is to be considered; the lack of plural Sun’s, or the description of everything including everything that could ever possibly be?

The point is to realize that the perspective given of what God is exactly in control of is an assumption, and one that, if considered given only the available text, read, and consider, isn’t fully merited in all attributed assumptions.

I’m sorry if this bothers you; if you would rather, I will stop bringing it up.
I only do so because you continue to inquire of it, to which I will always be happy to answer.

Choosing to reject the answers is up to anyone reading them, as any answer is.

This said,

Which is odd to me, considering that it’s throughout the Judeo-Christian Bible, held by the founders of a large portion of the early Christian’s (some held that it wasn’t a divinity act, but they still held to the deed), and in modern history (last four hundred years or so) this has been a very large part of the tradition, as inseparable from Judeo-Christianity as Communion.

It is, in fact, what chiefly defines Christianity to the secular world, and has since the time of the Romans.

Indeed, unconditional love is held close at heart of the concept, and is traditionally viewed as fully expressed beyond comparison through the sacrifice of Jesus; his martyrdom specifically is considered the highest expression of unconditional love for in the minds of the traditional Christian following constantly throughout the ages, this martyrdom not only survived the teachings for others, but also reconciled eternal doctrines in a metaphysical purification for man.

It’s fine to not find anything of faith for oneself in this, again, I don’t see anything invalid in that.

Where I have difficulty is redefining a term and it’s meaning, in this case, Christianity, from what it is understood to encompass.
While Christianity has many varied versions of itself that surely do not all agree with each other, the one common unification between all sects and creeds is that which allows for unconditional love; the one central constant; the metaphysical purification of man through the unjustified crucifiction of Jesus Christ.

So, in answer, I do not consider love to be the central constant throughout Christian history any less than I see Christians throughout history holding to the purpose of the crucifiction of Jesus.
To reduce one and accurately claim tradition, one would need to reduce the other, or show a lack of connection between the two over the past 1,960 years of Christian doctrine.
(year count is from Paul’s first missions after Jesus’ crucifiction)

Stumps:

You mention Communion, where Jesus gives his body and blood. That’s wonderful, because in Communion I see the divine act perfectly expressed. But perhaps here we differ: I don’t see Communion and the Crucifixion in the same light.

In Communion Jesus gives his life to save us, indeed, but not from sin. In Communion we are saved from suffering and death.

To me the only way to be saved from sin is through forgiveness. No death is necessary. To save us from suffering and death on the otherhand, yes, a sacrifice is called for.

Jesus does both: Jesus gives unconditionally (thereby saving us from suffering and death) and forgives unconditionally (thereby saving us from sin). The problem is: Jesus can only save so many… It is up to us to carry on Jesus’ task, to follow his way and complete his work (as if it could ever be completed).

So in the Crucifixion, we indeed see unconditional forgiveness, and that is the point of it (just as Jesus’ whole life is meant to express unconditional giving). But again, he didn’t die for our sins… He simply forgave us even as we continued to kill him…

Everything you just wrote is really good conduct and guidance that is good for any follower of Christianity or it’s text.

However, we are venturing from what I pointed out.
I was referring to communion as an act being older than even established Christianity, and indeed part of Christianity from it’s forming years.
In this mention, I was stating that the Salvation through Jesus and atonement of sin on Crucifiction is equally as linked in age to Christianity.

This was in response to your statement:

This is the statement that I was responded to.
I did not bring up communion in this conversation as a justification for the Savior motif; I brought it up in league with the Savior motif as description of what is Judeo-Christian tradition.

This was done by me because you were stating that you do not accept the Savior motif as consistent with your version of the central theme of Judeo-Christian tradition.
For this, I was explaining what the historical central theme of Judeo-Christian tradition has been regarding the Savior motif.

Apologies for any confusion there.