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Author Topic:   Sacrifice
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 1 of 64 (492780)
01-02-2009 7:08 PM


A key part of the Christian story is the idea of sacrifice. The death of Jesus, the sacrifice of God's very own son, such that mans sins could be forgiven by God.
Apparently if we recognise this sacrifice and seek forgiveness for our inherently sinful nature then we will be rewarded with salvation and avoid eternal damnation.
Such is my understanding from conversing with born again Christians here and elsewhere.
Is my understanding essentially correct?
Assuming that I have got at least the basic gist of this right I have a few questions:
1) What exactly was sacrificed? - Sacrifice normally implies loss or denial of some sort. I am not clear as to what exactly it is that was sacrificed or lost by God as a result of the physical death of his son? If I were to physically sacrifice my son, for example, the gaping void in my life caused by his absence and the knowledge that I would never again be with him would indeed probably be more painful than I can imagine. That would indeed be a sacrifice on my part. However in the case of Jesus a place at God's side in heaven was presumably guaranteed. Surely death in this instance was more of a homecoming than a loss of any sort at all?
2) Is the death of Jesus a big deal? - Apart from the pain caused by death to those left behind (as discussed above) the other key regret and cause of sadness with respect to an untimely human death is lost opportunity. The things that the person in question never became or experienced or achieved. The things in life that they missed out on. Again does any of this really apply to Jesus? As an omniscient omnipotent being is there anything that an untimely physical death can be said to have denied him in terms of experience or potential achievement?
3) Is pain the key? - Is it the pain suffered by Jesus that is the key to this "sacrifice"? I am sure that crucifixion is pretty unpleasant but I am also sure that we could find fellow human beings around the world suffering worse physical and emotional pain on any given day we choose to look. Brutal, degrading and debilitating sexual attacks, the removal of limbs, burning flesh, slow cancerous infestation, the removal of eyes, tongues or genitals...... Need I go on....... And none of this takes into account the psychological pain suffered as a result of knowing that should you live the body you inhabit will be horrifically mutilated. Jesus had no psychological pain regarding the future. He knew that he would die and then be resurrected. So is the pain of Jesus the ultimate sacrifice if the pain experienced by Jesus is not the ultimate in human physical or psychological pain?
4) Why sacrifice? - Why was any of this sacrifice stuff even necessary? If God wants to give man an opportunity for salvation, the opportunity to repent for his 'original sin', then surely he can just do this without any need for the whole sacrifice thing. Why the convulted and unnecessarily brutal path to redemption? If any sacrifice has actually been made why was any of it necessary in the first place?
So I am basically suggesting that the crucifixion of Christ was not a sacrifice of any particular substance and that if there was a sacrifice of any sort it was all very unnecessary anyway.

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Buzsaw, posted 01-02-2009 11:23 PM Straggler has replied
 Message 4 by ICANT, posted 01-03-2009 12:09 AM Straggler has replied
 Message 5 by iano, posted 01-03-2009 8:19 AM Straggler has replied
 Message 11 by straightree, posted 01-04-2009 4:12 PM Straggler has not replied
 Message 37 by Peg, posted 01-07-2009 4:43 AM Straggler has not replied

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 64 (492781)
01-02-2009 7:28 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 64 (492793)
01-02-2009 11:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
01-02-2009 7:08 PM


Straggler writes:
1) What exactly was sacrificed? - Sacrifice normally implies loss or denial of some sort. I am not clear as to what exactly it is that was sacrificed or lost by God as a result of the physical death of his son? If I were to physically sacrifice my son, for example, the gaping void in my life caused by his absence and the knowledge that I would never again be with him would indeed probably be more painful than I can imagine. That would indeed be a sacrifice on my part. However in the case of Jesus a place at God's side in heaven was presumably guaranteed. Surely death in this instance was more of a homecoming than a loss of any sort at all?
Hi Straggler. Happy New Year! Your understanding of the doctrine is correct as per the fundamentals of scripture on this.
1. The OT animal sacrifices for the sins of humans involved a monetary loss to the humans offering. Those sacrifices sufficed until the once for all perfect sacrifice of God's son was accomplished. This effected a transfer of energy from Heaven to earth, from heaven to earth, so Heaven gave up something for the sins of men on earth.
2. Jesus, the sacrifice suffered an extraordinary suffering of pain and death, a penalty only attributed to earth man, so Jesus paid dearly for our sins. He paid dearly also in that he left a prefect splendorous abode to be a rugged earth man deprived of a home and sleeping in places like the wilderness all the while continually evading men who wanted him dead. He left Heavenly bliss to pay this penalty.
3. It's a big deal because he, being a deity humbled himself to the status of the mortal creature.
4. God and Jesus knew that by doing this the creature's sin would be paid for and the creature could become sons of God somewhat like Jesus.
5. Yes he was raised up but that doesn't diminish the fact that he died a physical death and for the time he was on the cross God actually forsook him as is to turn his back on his son and disown him while he was being made sin for us on the cross. Thus Jesus cried, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" This was a terrible thing for him to have to do. We humans would be hard pressed to fully understand that anguish!
Straggler writes:
4. Why sacrifice? - Why was any of this sacrifice stuff even necessary? If God wants to give man an opportunity for salvation, the opportunity to repent for his 'original sin', then surely he can just do this without any need for the whole sacrifice thing. Why the convulted and unnecessarily brutal path to redemption? If any sacrifice has actually been made why was any of it necessary in the first place?
So I am basically suggesting that the crucifixion of Christ was not a sacrifice of any particular substance and that if there was a sacrifice of any sort it was all very unnecessary anyway.
I remember asking this very question at about age 9 to my friend as we walked to school one day. A year or so at about age 10, I began to understand why and received him as my personal savior.
1. The sacrifice was declared necessary in Genesis when God told Adam that if he sinned, i.e. took the forbidden fruit, that day he would die.. Did Adam die a physical death the day he partook? No. Adam lost his immortality, lost his spiritual status with God, and began to age and die.
2. So what did God do for Adam's dilemma? He killed an animal and clothed him. He also instituted the animal sacrifice to cover the man until the ultimate final and perfect sacrifice, Jesus paid the once and for all price which satisfied God's justice..
3. When Jesus died on the cross, the heavy veil between the people and the Holy Place where the Arch Of the Covenant were was torn open from the top to the bottom by God Why? because the animal sacrifice Levitical priesthood ended with the Jesus sacrifice. Thus the temple was soon destroyed and the priesthood with it never to be installed again. Now Jesus is our high priest, the sacrifice and the resurrection of us to be forever reconciled back to God's kingdom, redeemed/ransom us from the death curse pronounced by God upon mankind in the Garden of Eden.
4. This is why Jesus could authoritatively insist that he was the door to God and the only way, the truth and the life, no man coming to God but by him. This is also why, in order to get through to God with out prayers Jesus instructed us to pray through him (high priest) to the Father/God. Thus we fundamentalists should end every prayer with "in the name of Jesus we pray."
PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS AND SALVATION COMES!!! :cool;

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 01-02-2009 7:08 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 01-03-2009 8:32 AM Buzsaw has replied

  
ICANT
Member (Idle past 104 days)
Posts: 6769
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 4 of 64 (492795)
01-03-2009 12:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
01-02-2009 7:08 PM


Re Sacrifice
Hi Straggler,
I am not going to debate this issue as there is really nothing to debate. But I will try to answer your questions.
Most so called christians will disagree with what I am going to say but that is fine by me. I don't mind standing alone.
Straggler writes:
Apparently if we recognise this sacrifice and seek forgiveness for our inherently sinful nature then we will be rewarded with salvation and avoid eternal damnation.
Wrong. God offers you a free gift. A free full pardon all you have to do is receive it.
A reward is earned. You can't earn salvation.
Straggler writes:
1) What exactly was sacrificed?
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night they came for Him.
In Matthew 26:36-53 Jesus prays 3 times that God the Father would let the cup pass from Him.
He was in such agony He sweat drops of blood.
He truly dreaded something besides physical death.
This was probably around midnight and at around 9 AM Jesus was nailed to the cross and lifted up as prophesied hundreds of year beforehand.
At the sixth hour 12 noon.
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
The lights went out.
At the ninth Jesus cried out:
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
I will answer the question Jesus asked. God had forsaken Jesus because He had become sin for me as He took my sins upon Him.
God can not have sin in His presence so for 3 hours Jesus was separated from God the Father. This was something that had never happened in all of eternity past.
This separation had to be so I would not have to be separated from God for eternity.
John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
John adds this little bit to his story. Jesus said it is finished.
The sin debt was paid in full.
Straggler writes:
2) Is the death of Jesus a big deal?
Yes a very big deal. All flesh must die that is the curse brought on by the first man eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The mortal body Jesus had could not enter heaven as Paul tell us.
1 Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Had not Christ body been buried and resurrected there would have been no victory.
The devil crucified Christ and if he could have kept Him in the grave he would have won.
Straggler writes:
3) Is pain the key?
The pain Jesus suffered only gives us a little understanding of what he suffered. Because we understand physical pain. The physical pain was for our benefit.
The separation from God is what paid the sin debt.
Straggler writes:
4) Why sacrifice?
To satisfy the justice of God.
Man disobeyed God and somebody had to satisfy God for that disobedience.
Straggler writes:
If any sacrifice has actually been made why was any of it necessary in the first place?
Because God loved me and was willing to buy me back from the slavery that the first man sold me into when he disobeyed God.
God wanted me to be perfect like the first man was before he disobeyed.
Since I was not able to satisfy God's demands a substitute had to satisfy God for me. That was my big brother Jesus, He took care of it for me.
What makes it so wonderful to me is that if I had been the only one that accepted God's offer He would still have gone through with it.
But God didn't just offer a pardon to me. He offered it to whosoever will accept that pardon.
Straggler writes:
So I am basically suggesting that the crucifixion of Christ was not a sacrifice of any particular substance and that if there was a sacrifice of any sort it was all very unnecessary anyway.
You are certainly free to have your opinion. God allowed you that choice.
But most here are advocating a position that they would require God to not give them that choice. That He would just program them to do what He wants them to do.
God Bless,

"John 5:39 (KJS) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 01-02-2009 7:08 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by fallacycop, posted 01-03-2009 11:17 PM ICANT has not replied
 Message 13 by Straggler, posted 01-04-2009 5:09 PM ICANT has not replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2017 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 5 of 64 (492839)
01-03-2009 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
01-02-2009 7:08 PM


Hi there Straggler..
A key part of the Christian story is the idea of sacrifice. The death of Jesus, the sacrifice of God's very own son, such that mans sins could be forgiven by God.
Apparently if we recognise this sacrifice and seek forgiveness for our inherently sinful nature then we will be rewarded with salvation and avoid eternal damnation.
Such is my understanding from conversing with born again Christians here and elsewhere.
Is my understanding essentially correct?
In terms of the above elements being componants of the overall "engine of salvation" I'd say yes. But I wouldn't be of the opinion that they can be assembled together to form a working model. Some other componants are required - starting with:
1. God attempts to convince man that man is (lets call it) "rotten in his heart"
2. Man becomes convinced by Gods argument and believes God in this matter.
(nb:there is no requirement that a man believe in God, believe in the existance of God or even that a man have heard of God/the Bible in order for the above to take place. All that's required is that man have a conscience)
The above being the criterion satisfied by which a man is saved, the elements of salvation can now be applied to him. These include:
3. God gives a man faith so that man believes in Christ as his saviour. Man confesses Christ his saviour
4. God justfies a man and sets him in legal rightstanding before him
5. God comes to dwell in man by his Holy Spirit.
1) What exactly was sacrificed? - Sacrifice normally implies loss or denial of some sort. I am not clear as to what exactly it is that was sacrificed or lost by God as a result of the physical death of his son?
As pointed out by ICANT, the sacrifice was separation between God the Father and God the son. There is little point in attempting to model the agony of this given that:
1. The separation took place in eternity - a realm into which we have little insight. Thus, there's no point in saying "it was only for a few hours/days..."
2. We're not holy and equal to God the Father so can't know what it's like to fall into the utter pit in his estimation. To be utterly reviled by that which you love. Imagine the look in your wifes eyes if she were to truly consider you to be guilty of molesting your children and you might begin to get a taste of it. Now keep going down and don't stop...
3. We're not the Fathers total love so can't know what it's like to be separated from that which you love totally (earthly father/son relationships form a poor measure comparatively.)
One way to begin consider the level of sacrifice involved then, is to consider the order of the being involved. Dumping a lobster into a pot of boiling water is a different matter to dumping a dog in same. Human paralleling of Gods sacrifice engages in lobster-like thinking and should be avoided. Better to raise your gaze to stratospheric.
4) Why sacrifice? - Why was any of this sacrifice stuff even necessary? If God wants to give man an opportunity for salvation, the opportunity to repent for his 'original sin', then surely he can just do this without any need for the whole sacrifice thing. Why the convulted and unnecessarily brutal path to redemption? If any sacrifice has actually been made why was any of it necessary in the first place?
It's very simple. The nature of foregiveness requires that the offended party pay whatever the cost of the offence is - themselves. You can't truly and completely forgive someone without doing so -whether the matter is a large one or a relative trifle. Think of any example you like and you'll find that this will be the case.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 01-02-2009 7:08 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Straggler, posted 01-04-2009 4:58 PM iano has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 6 of 64 (492840)
01-03-2009 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Buzsaw
01-02-2009 11:23 PM


Why Sacrifice?
Hi Straggler. Happy New Year! Your understanding of the doctrine is correct as per the fundamentals of scripture on this
Hi Buz. A happy new year to you too and thanks for the confirmation of my broad conceptual understanding of this issue.
2. Jesus, the sacrifice suffered an extraordinary suffering of pain and death, a penalty only attributed to earth man, so Jesus paid dearly for our sins. He paid dearly also in that he left a prefect splendorous abode to be a rugged earth man deprived of a home and sleeping in places like the wilderness all the while continually evading men who wanted him dead. He left Heavenly bliss to pay this penalty.
3. It's a big deal because he, being a deity humbled himself to the status of the mortal creature.
On the issue of physical pain it has to be said that many men have experienced a lot worse with the expectation of a lot less. But that aside.....
So it was actually living as mortal man away from the paradise of heaven, living as we all do, that was the true sacrifice of Jesus? Rather than the actual death of his physical body?
If so this would suggest that dying and returning to heaven would be something of a blessed relief rather than any sort of sacrifice would it not?
4. God and Jesus knew that by doing this the creature's sin would be paid for and the creature could become sons of God somewhat like Jesus.
I am still very unclear as to why an omnipotent God requires any physical sacrificial deaths at all to pay for anything. It makes very little sense to me.
5. Yes he was raised up but that doesn't diminish the fact that he died a physical death and for the time he was on the cross God actually forsook him as is to turn his back on his son and disown him while he was being made sin for us on the cross. Thus Jesus cried, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" This was a terrible thing for him to have to do. We humans would be hard pressed to fully understand that anguish!
Now this is a fair point and does indeed add a dimension that I had not considered. So, for what it is worth, your post has resulted in me learning something about Christian thought on this subject.
But is this separation from God, this supreme sacrifice on the part of Jesus Christ, is this not the eternal and ultimate fate for the vast majority of humanity? Is not this unbearable feeling of forsakenness that Jesus experienced for only a few hours, is this horrific ordeal not the eternal fate of all non born again Christians according to your doctrine?
I find it hard to reconcile the idea of a sacrifice that is considered so supreme by Christians with the fact that, both in terms of physical and spiritual pain, man is destined to experience such that Christ's pain pales into insignificance.
Straggler writes:
4. Why sacrifice? - Why was any of this sacrifice stuff even necessary? If God wants to give man an opportunity for salvation, the opportunity to repent for his 'original sin', then surely he can just do this without any need for the whole sacrifice thing. Why the convulted and unnecessarily brutal path to redemption? If any sacrifice has actually been made why was any of it necessary in the first place?
1. The sacrifice was declared necessary in Genesis.........
I won't dispute that it was declared necessary. Let us assume the veracity of the bible in this respect for the sake of argument.
But this does not answer the question as to why an omnipotent God would declare or deem physical sacrifice to be necessary in the first place.
The whole concept of physical sacrifice seems very barbaric and frankly Pagan in origin.
Why sacrifice anything? If omnipotent God wants to forgive he can forgive. If God wants to punish he can punish. If God wants to provide an example to man such that he has a second chance to apply his freewill in God's desired direction then he can.
None of this sacrifice stuff seems very necessary or even relevant?
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Buzsaw, posted 01-02-2009 11:23 PM Buzsaw has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Buzsaw, posted 01-03-2009 9:02 AM Straggler has replied
 Message 8 by Taz, posted 01-03-2009 9:47 AM Straggler has not replied

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 64 (492843)
01-03-2009 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
01-03-2009 8:32 AM


Re: Why Sacrifice?
Straggler, I have to leave for church now and plan to address your points more in depth later. For now, I agree with ICant that God will not sacrifice justice for convenience. He has eternal social as well as scientific established laws in his universe and justice is one of those socialistic laws which had to be considered relative to the solution to evil.
May God bless you and enlighten you in your quest for truth!

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 01-03-2009 8:32 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Straggler, posted 01-04-2009 5:18 PM Buzsaw has not replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3368 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 8 of 64 (492850)
01-03-2009 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Straggler
01-03-2009 8:32 AM


Re: Why Sacrifice?
Straggler writes:
On the issue of physical pain it has to be said that many men have experienced a lot worse with the expectation of a lot less. But that aside.....
In my college days, I did a project on methods of tortures the ancients were able to come up with. It will amaze most people nowadays how long a person can be kept alive in agonizing pain, like a thousand times worse than what jesus supposedly went through. We're talking about days to weeks here, not hours. The christians themselves had plenty of ways to torture people that lasted for days and weeks before killing them.
Anyway, we now return to our regular broadcast.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 01-03-2009 8:32 AM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Buzsaw, posted 01-03-2009 4:26 PM Taz has not replied

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 64 (492880)
01-03-2009 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Taz
01-03-2009 9:47 AM


Re: Why Sacrifice?
Taz writes:
In my college days, I did a project on methods of tortures the ancients were able to come up with. It will amaze most people nowadays how long a person can be kept alive in agonizing pain, like a thousand times worse than what jesus supposedly went through. We're talking about days to weeks here, not hours. The christians themselves had plenty of ways to torture people that lasted for days and weeks before killing them.
But Jesus, immortal deity willingly sacrificed himself on the alter of a humiliating torture, pain and death who knew he would never have otherwise experienced death pain and lonely forsakeness by God for the sole purpose of ransoming millions of his own inferiors, expendable creatures of God, from the curse of death? We're talking apples and oranges here, so to speak.

BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Taz, posted 01-03-2009 9:47 AM Taz has not replied

Replies to this message:
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fallacycop
Member (Idle past 5597 days)
Posts: 692
From: Fortaleza-CE Brazil
Joined: 02-18-2006


Message 10 of 64 (492893)
01-03-2009 11:17 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by ICANT
01-03-2009 12:09 AM


Re: Re Sacrifice
To satisfy the justice of God.
Man disobeyed God and somebody had to satisfy God for that disobedience.
Couldn't God simply forgive the sin?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by ICANT, posted 01-03-2009 12:09 AM ICANT has not replied

  
straightree
Member (Idle past 4827 days)
Posts: 57
From: Near Olot, Spain
Joined: 09-26-2008


Message 11 of 64 (492935)
01-04-2009 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
01-02-2009 7:08 PM


Love as a substitute for sacrifice
Stating things in this way, leaves a very important part of Christian story out of the picture. Salvation story can not be contemplated only like the payment of a ransom, but as a story of love.
Consider this from St Mark
And one of the scribes came, and hearing their argument together, and seeing that he had given them a good answer, put the question to him, Which law is the first of all? 29 Jesus said in answer, The first is, Give ear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 And you are to have love for the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 The second is this, Have love for your neighbour as for yourself. There is no other law greater than these. 32 And the scribe said to him, Truly, Master, you have well said that he is one, and there is no other but he: 33 And to have love for him with all the heart, and with all the mind, and with all the strength, and to have the same love for his neighbour as for himself, is much more than all forms of offerings. 34 And when Jesus saw that he gave a wise answer, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God.
It is recognized that love to God and your neighbour is superior to any offering (sacrifice).
and then, this one from St John:
This is the law I give you: Have love one for another, even as I have love for you. 13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man gives up his life for his friends.
So Jesus is saying that He is going to undertake an act of love.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 01-02-2009 7:08 PM Straggler has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 12 of 64 (492939)
01-04-2009 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by iano
01-03-2009 8:19 AM


Did Jesus Have Freewill
Iano. I wondered if this topic would tempt you. I suspect that you have considered the question of sacrifice in far greater detail than I have as yet. So I am glad to see that you are willing to participate.
(nb:there is no requirement that a man believe in God, believe in the existance of God or even that a man have heard of God/the Bible in order for the above to take place. All that's required is that man have a conscience)
In this respect your view would seem to be somewhat less extreme than many of the more fundamentalist Christians who insist that an eternal lake of fire awaits all those who do not follow the specifics of their particular version of Christianity.
3. God gives a man faith so that man believes in Christ as his saviour. Man confesses Christ his saviour
As you are no doubt aware I have little respect for faith. As a means of separating the "worthy" from the "unworthy" it is a truly appalling method.
Faith is too open to abuse by those who would deceive. Whether intentionally or via self-delusion. Numerous variants of religion declare that faith in a particular dogma is the only true path to salvation. Which of all those that proclaim themselves to be the "true" faith should one uncontaminated by social conditioning choose and on what basis?
It also has to be said that if one were to knowingly set out to deceive and use religion as a means of social control there can be little doubt that an emphasis on faith over reason would be extremely advantageous.
For all these reasons any true God that chooses to rely on faith as a key criteria is doomed to compete with false faiths, and thus ultimately to disappointment.
Additionally a reliance on faith denies those that find themselves, by their nature, bound to reason the "choice" that is supposedly at the heart of Christinaity.
As pointed out by ICANT, the sacrifice was separation between God the Father and God the son.
As I said to Buz - This is a component of Christian thinking which I had not considered and which deserves further exploration on my part. So lets explore that area.
There is little point in attempting to model the agony of this given that:
1. The separation took place in eternity - a realm into which we have little insight. Thus, there's no point in saying "it was only for a few hours/days..."
I believe that this a false argument for two reasons
1) You no more know what an "eternal perspective" is than I do. This is nothing more than wild speculation on your part.
2) This can be argued both ways. If any separation is considered eternal then so is any togetherness. In this context any separation is as equally and oppositely insignificant as it is significant in your interpretation.
2. We're not holy and equal to God the Father so can't know what it's like to fall into the utter pit in his estimation. To be utterly reviled by that which you love. Imagine the look in your wifes eyes if she were to truly consider you to be guilty of molesting your children and you might begin to get a taste of it. Now keep going down and don't stop...
And yet is this not the eternal fate of all those who do not "choose" to be saved? How does the sacrifice of Jesus compare to those that face this damnation for all eternity?
3. We're not the Fathers total love so can't know what it's like to be separated from that which you love totally (earthly father/son relationships form a poor measure comparatively.)
So although he suffered less physically than many men have done and no more spiritually than many men will do your argument rests on the idea that Christ actually suffered more because he started from a higher place?
By the same logic could we not argue, for example, that those who are born to impoverishment and starvation are better suited to and more deserving of impoverishment and starvation than those who have known comfort and wealth? That ones place should be accepted on the basis that those who have known better will suffer more in the face of adversity?
If Jesus is God as man but only in a physical sense then he is not truly man at all. Surely what makes humanity human from a Christian perspective is the spiritual side of being not the physical. In this, most important of respects, Jesus seems to have been no more manlike than God himself for all but those few forsaken hours. Is this correct?
One additional question. Did Jesus have a choice, did he exhibit freewill, with regard to facing his fate of crucifixion and forsakenness? Or was it predetermined and thus lacking in choice?
One way to begin consider the level of sacrifice involved then, is to consider the order of the being involved. Dumping a lobster into a pot of boiling water is a different matter to dumping a dog in same. Human paralleling of Gods sacrifice engages in lobster-like thinking and should be avoided. Better to raise your gaze to stratospheric.
To take your rather bizzarre analogy to it's logical conclusion....
If we were to sacrificially boil a human such that no more lobsters need face that particular fate would we be entitled to expect lobster-kind to recognise, appreciate and even revere our sacrifice? Would it be reasonable for us to sentance all those subsequent lobsters who fail to embrace this sacrifice to an eternity of repeat boilings?
If men are but lobsters as compared to God then it is only because God saw fit to make us such inferior beings. For the creator of an inferior being to punish the creation for being inferior is unjust.
4) Why sacrifice? - Why was any of this sacrifice stuff even necessary? If God wants to give man an opportunity for salvation, the opportunity to repent for his 'original sin', then surely he can just do this without any need for the whole sacrifice thing. Why the convulted and unnecessarily brutal path to redemption? If any sacrifice has actually been made why was any of it necessary in the first place?
It's very simple. The nature of foregiveness requires that the offended party pay whatever the cost of the offence is - themselves. You can't truly and completely forgive someone without doing so -whether the matter is a large one or a relative trifle.
I don't understand what you are saying here. Can you give a specific example?
Think of any example you like and you'll find that this will be the case.
No. I still don't understand why forgiveness requires sacrifice by the forgiver in principle. Especially physical sacrifice of any kind. Especially when the forgiver is an omnipotent and omniscient being.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by iano, posted 01-03-2009 8:19 AM iano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by iano, posted 01-04-2009 9:11 PM Straggler has replied
 Message 16 by iano, posted 01-05-2009 6:08 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 13 of 64 (492941)
01-04-2009 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by ICANT
01-03-2009 12:09 AM


Re: Re Sacrifice
I am not going to debate this issue as there is really nothing to debate. But I will try to answer your questions.
I have read your answers regarding this matter but will accept your wish and not instigate debate by commenting further.
But most here are advocating a position that they would require God to not give them that choice. That He would just program them to do what He wants them to do.
I have never advocated that, if there is a God, he should do this.
Instead I have advocated that if there are choices of ultimate importance to be made be men then the opportunity for informed choices should be given to all equally. Relying on faith, which is open to deceit, delusion and misuse is a particularly poor method of achieving the stated aim of getting men to make the preferred and informed choice of their own accord.
Such a strategy is doomed to failure.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by ICANT, posted 01-03-2009 12:09 AM ICANT has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Buzsaw, posted 01-05-2009 1:36 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 142 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 14 of 64 (492942)
01-04-2009 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Buzsaw
01-03-2009 9:02 AM


Re: Why Sacrifice?
Straggler, I have to leave for church now and plan to address your points more in depth later.
No rush Buz. I have already learned a great deal regarding Christian thought from the replies to my questions from yourself and others.
May God bless you and enlighten you in your quest for truth!
Whilst I appreciate your ongoing efforts to educate and enlighten me I feel it only fair to make clear to you the wall of cynicism and faithlessness that you are up against...........

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Buzsaw, posted 01-03-2009 9:02 AM Buzsaw has not replied

  
iano
Member (Idle past 2017 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 15 of 64 (492964)
01-04-2009 9:11 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Straggler
01-04-2009 4:58 PM


Re: Did Jesus Have Freewill
Straggler writes:
Jesus Have Freewill
He's not called 'the second Adam' for nothing (Adam being the first and only to have free will - in my book). Perhaps you'll flesh out the title of your post later so I'll wait til then..
-
Iano. I wondered if this topic would tempt you. I suspect that you have considered the question of sacrifice in far greater detail than I have as yet. So I am glad to see that you are willing to participate.
I've not considered it in any great depth to be honest. At least not to a depth befitting it. Perhaps this is a time to do just that..
-
nb:there is no requirement that a man believe in God, believe in the existance of God or even that a man have heard of God/the Bible in order for the above to take place. All that's required is that man have a conscience)
In this respect your view would seem to be somewhat less extreme than many of the more fundamentalist Christians who insist that an eternal lake of fire awaits all those who do not follow the specifics of their particular version of Christianity.
Whilst not considering Hell to consist of a literal lake of fire, I do suppose that all those not saved will end up in a place described-as-best-as-can-be-in-terms-we-can-begin-to-appreciate ... as a lake of fire. That is to say: the actual Hell will be a place of horror and torment - if not literally a place consisting of high temperatures.
What I meant above was that the criterion for a mans salvation doesn't require that he have heard of/believe in .. Christ as his saviour. That he might believe as much after he be saved is not relevant to the issue of his salvation in the first place. The example of how salvation is wrought, given by Paul in the book of Romans (the book which describes salvation mechanics), uses Abrahams example. Old Testament Abraham was saved before Christ was born.
-
3. God gives a man faith so that man believes in Christ as his saviour. Man confesses Christ his saviour
As you are no doubt aware I have little respect for faith.
Don't stretch the analogy but until you have an orgasm you can't really preach on what it can and cannot do. Suffice to say that God is able to alter your neural network (if you insist on looking at a spiritual knowledge as an arrangement of the atoms in your brain) so that you believe in Christ as your saviour to the same degree you believe the external reality is real.
Suppose that God can open doors you couldn't imagine openable. And suppose he can ensure those doors stay open.
As a means of separating the "worthy" from the "unworthy" it is a truly appalling method.
You've missed something I think - though perhaps that's my fault.
Faith (in the sense of it being 'a knowledge of Gods existance' or 'the certainty that Christ is your saviour') is given to those who have first "believed God".
That is to say:
First you believe God.
Then you are given the evidence necessary to believe that God exists and that Christ is your saviour.
As mentioned above - you don't need to believe in God in order to believe God. If your confused on this point then ask...
1) You no more know what an "eternal perspective" is than I do. This is nothing more than wild speculation on your part.
As is often the case, the point is driven to stalemate. What we have is what is stated: Christ suffering was considered by God as sufficient to cover mens sin. Believe it or not. As mentioned earlier, the ability to believe it was is something given man by God - AFTER man has been saved. Its a belief that is subsequent to salvation - not something you have to do in order to be saved.
Consider it (the belief that Christ paid sufficiently for your sin) as part of the overall package applied to you when (I sincerely hope) you are saved.
2) This can be argued both ways. If any separation is considered eternal then so is any togetherness. In this context any separation is as equally and oppositely insignificant as it is significant in your interpretation
This would presume no more logical dimensions to be added in eternity. I would no more bet on that than I would no more logical dimensions additional to a two dimensional creatures current worldview
And yet is this not the eternal fate of all those who do not "choose" to be saved? How does the sacrifice of Jesus compare to those that face this damnation for all eternity?
The bigger they come the further they fall - and I mean that respectfully. Christ as holy and co-equal with the father has a ways further to go to be reviled in his fathers eyes than we do - us being steeped in sin as we are.
And Christ was carrying far more sin than any individual I can think of
-
So although he suffered less physically than many men have done...
//granted
and no more spiritually than many men will
// could you run that one by me again? Men who will be damned are currently spiritually dead to God. As separated from God and an understanding of God as a tone deaf mute is from composing a beautiful symphony (or so the doctrine goes)
Christ being alive spiritually to God (of course) could be potentially separated from God spiritually. On the other hand, a man who is already separated spiritually from God can only remain so. For the one there is the wrench of separation to be experienced for the other there is continuance of existance which is all he knows.
(Granted, there appears to be the further removal from man of his being made in Gods image and likeness. But that is, relatively speaking, merely the removal of a remnant of Gods image left in him, a removal of a mere vestige of God. Not at all the scale of separation from God that occurs when one is on equal footing with God.)
-
does your argument rests on the idea that Christ actually suffered more because he started from a higher place?
By the same logic could we not argue, for example, that those who are born to impoverishment and starvation are better suited to and more deserving of impoverishment and starvation than those who have known comfort and wealth?
That ones place should be accepted on the basis that those who have known better will suffer more in the face of adversity?
I'm not sure where deserving crept into your argument but it is true to say that a wealthy person will consider it more suffering to fall from a great height than will a poor person who shifts but a degree further down the scale.
But we're not talking material wealth. So the comparison is a poor one. We're talking holiness and glory and honour (all in any "good/worthy/moral" sense we might find agreement on)
-
If Jesus is God as man but only in a physical sense then he is not truly man at all. Surely what makes humanity human from a Christian perspective is the spiritual side of being not the physical. In this, most important of respects, Jesus seems to have been no more manlike than God himself for all but those few forsaken hours. Is this correct?
What is truly man?
Is it man equipped with a will that is enslaved to sin and which would only do evil all the time - were it not for the fact that he is restrained by God by way of a conscience. That is to say: man yearning for evil but restrained by Gods own voice in his ear.
Or is a true man a man who is not so enslaved but who must make his own freewilled choice when faced with temptation. A choice between the attraction that good provides and the attraction which evil entices with?
I'd say Jesus was the truest of men. One like Adam, faced with a balanced choice to go in either of two directions based on his own will. Not like us - who need the helping hand of conscience if we are to do "good"
-
One additional question. Did Jesus have a choice, did he exhibit freewill, with regard to facing his fate of crucifixion and forsakenness? Or was it predetermined and thus lacking in choice?
Predetermination is a tricky subject when it comes to a God considered by orthodoxy not to be bound by time. The basis for his knowing "what will occur" can, for example, be based on knowing what has already occurred (past and future both occupying the eternity-enrobed bubble called "time")
Thus Christs eternal choice to incarnate for the purpose of dying doesn't alter Christs in time ability to freely choose to go to the cross. If he choose not to in time then that is what would be pre (or post) determined to occur.
...later Straggler. It's late late
Edited by iano, : No reason given.
Edited by iano, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Straggler, posted 01-04-2009 4:58 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Straggler, posted 01-06-2009 7:21 AM iano has replied

  
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