1. The question is not relevant. That isn't the theology, so it doesn't matter what the answer is. I have every confidence a fundie would tell you, "But Jesus would never do that!"
That's why it expands your imagination. But, theologies do change, just as the Old Covenant was expunged in favor of the New Covenant. The dogmatic Jews thought that Jesus was heretical, but that was only because they were dogmatic. So, you could continue to be dogmatic and sever this present day Jesus from your current belief system, or you could take what he has to say.
2. There's lots of people who take an in-between view and/or merge the concepts, or believe in some modified level of Original Sin that is no longer relevant to your question.
This is true. But, from fundamental perspective, Jesus died to emancipate us from our sins because we were corrupted by the fall of man.
Is this because... you would be disdainful of the fact that there would be no afterlife?
No. I really don't think about the afterlife that much. My view is more akin to what Owl very succinctly stated. Based on your facts God would be a deceiver and upend any basis for morality including forgiveness. Forgiveness in and of itself would become meaningless.
Originally Posted by Tater Typhoon
I mean, surely there is some degree of altruism to be had just for the sake of this finite life. Or is that meaningless to you?
I have a deep disdain for altruism and I do not think it is biblical as I have explained in this thread.
Originally Posted by Tater Typhoon
Are you moral and forgiving because there's an infinite carrot on a stick when you die, or are you moral and forgiving because it's simply... noble to be moral and forgiving within your social body?
I'm moral and forgiving only by the grace of God. Sure on another level I forgive for a multitude of worldly reasons including reward and risk of worldly punishment as well as social pressure. The real question is why should I forgive? Because he first forgave me and sacrificed himself on my behalf.
Many of the fundamental beams that hold the house of Christianity up are built on the stone of original sin and forgiveness. When the Origin of Species was tossed into the realm of intelligence, sin became obsolete in the wake of species and scientific inquiry. Still, many Christians hold on to this precept by using their imagination to circumvent the story of original sin, or by clinging to the fundamentals in rejection of the theory of evolution.
So, I have a question for any Christian who believes in original sin. I'm not trying to taunt or challenge it, but rather I would like to see people's imagination expand.
If Christ were to come back right now, be resurrected a second time and told you: "I'm sorry, there is not an afterlife. My Father can resurrect me, but he cannot resurrect you."
Could you forgive him?
So you mean that Jesus lied to everyone that ever existed?
Originally Posted by MacGuffin
ayoitsStepho is becoming someone else. Actually her true self, a rite of passage.
Well, let's just assume he performs some miracles and proves himself to be so for the sake of argument.
I don't think I can answer the question as stated, but I can say this. If there is no afterlife it would be disappointing, but it wouldn't shake my faith. I follow Christ, because I believe that is best for the life I'm living now. The afterlife is just an added bonus.
On the other hand the scenario you presented is too far fetched. Some guy comes up claiming to be Jesus, said he lied before and that God's power is fairly limited. Even if he can do some miracles he's too far from my conception of the Son of God.
As an analogy let me say this. Say some guy claiming to be Michael Jackson from the dead could do some miracles. If he couldn't sing or dance would you believe him?
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I'm not really a Christian, I guess...and I'm not sure I can answer the question. I used to be one, and possibly, tossed much of it for the reasons you bring up, Tater.
That said, I don't need to think about original sin or "redemption" (in the sacrificial Christ/forgiveness of sins sense) to see the worth of some of it. If I lived in his time, I would have been challenged to follow Jesus anyways because of the Sermon on the Mount alone. Granted, his ethics are not unique (many others have precepts like the Golden Rule, warnings against hypocrisy, etc), but it's still worth following either way. If Christianity gets more complicated than that.. if it emphasizes theology, sacrifice, or anything Pauline, then I'm all "meh" about the whole thing.
Also, I resent Christians who do emphasize these things.. who basically like skipping past the life of Jesus, and shifting the subject to Christ, the dying Son of God.. that whole deal doesn't make any sense to me. Ethics matter. Sacrifice and dying for "humanity's original sin" - not so much.
I've heard many sermons that even say "It's not good enough to be a nice person. You must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Then God will look kindly on you." I disagree and find it highly insulting. And I defy a God who is incapable of looking kindly on nice people, who eschews good behavior, and instead, demands sacrifice and blood to forgive them....because of vicarious "original sin". An idea based on a completely fabricated story that demands you believe an "Adam and Eve" existed 6,000 yrs ago, and were the first human beings. That is far too challenging...and unjust.
My belief is that being nice is really the only thing that matters. And if we talk about "heaven", I prefer that passage that Christ himself said: "The kingdom of God is within you." If he actually said that, then he did NOT believe in original sin (for then how he could make that kind of appeal to inner-light and goodness in people? If people are that tarnished, then he would have never dug that deep and saw potential). It's a passage that tells me that whatever better world we're looking for is neither here nor there. It's in you. It's telling us that the present matters.. that trying to make this place a better world matters..that people can start fixing things now if they have the courage. It's not easy, but this works for me...instead of switching one's emphasis on the future, on death and afterlife, on emphasizing that we're completely broken, on saying "God will eventually save you when you die if you're but cleansed". This are Pauline ideals, not Jesus ones per se. In my mind, Jesus was trying to inspire change, not redemption. There's nothing to "forgive" or be jaded about. Only one Gospel is bent on redemption and Cristology (John) - it's also the latest dated one. And one written in an anachronistic, interpretive style.. which makes me take it less seriously on giving any indication on what the "human" Jesus might have been like.
If it gets more complicated than that.. if it emphasizes Theology, sacrifice, or anything Pauline, then I'm all "meh" about the whole thing.
You say "being nice" is the only thing that matters. Yes, the life of Jesus is a perfect example for us. But, when you take out the theology, particularly Paul's teachings you gut out the purpose of "being nice." Without the theology there is no basis for being nice to anyone... no authority.
Also, I resent Christians who do emphasize these things.. who basically like skipping past the life of Jesus, and shifting the subject to Christ, the dying Son of God on a cross.. it doesn't make any sense to me. Ethics matter. Sacrifice and dying for "humanity's original sin" - not so much.
The life of Christ and the atonement in no way conflict with one another. Without the atonement and without the affirmation of the deity of Jesus he's just a dude and has no more authority as to say what's right and wrong than hitler does. Yeah ethics matter, but they have to be grounded in a morality that is absolute and understands the world as it truly is.
I've heard many sermons that even say "It's not good enough to be a nice person. You must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Then God will look kindly on you." I disagree and find it highly insulting. Being nice is really the only thing that matters.
1) God looks kindly upon everyone to a certain extent in that everyone has his image and he extends his common grace to everyone... "the rain falls on both the righteous and unrighteous."
2) You have no authority to turn to other than yourself to say that "being nice is really the only thing that matters."
3) I'm not a nice person at my core and I know it. No one is. The whole point of the good news is that because of Christ's work we're free to be "nice" and we don't have to be "nice" to be free.
And if we talk about "heaven", I prefer that passage that Christ himself said: "The kingdom of God is within you." Whatever better world we're looking for is neither here nor there. It's in you. It's telling me that the present matters.. that trying to make this place a better world matters..through our own courage and creativity.. that simply "being nice" matters.. instead of switching one's emphasis on the future, on death and afterlife, on saying "God will eventually save you when you die". I prefer the Christianity of the activist.. instead of the theologian. Martin Luther King instead of Martin Luther. St. Francis instead of St. Augustine.
And that's what it really comes down to... what you "prefer." There is no conflict between the theology of Martin Luther and the Activism of MLK. He changed the course of western civilization by standing up to rome and pointing out the corrupt practices of the church, most importantly the selling of indulgences and the false doctrine of purgatory that virtually enslaved people to the church. Luther delivered people from a guilt ridden (and expensive) religion and introduced them to a God of grace and mercy. As a matter of fact I can't think of a better example of an activist than Martin Luther.