Sunday, April 24, 2011
For Easter, I'm linking an interesting theory I learned a couple years ago about the whole Christ story and religion in general. Its taken from the subversive documentary Zeitgeist, which is a wild, trippy ride into all kinds of conspiracy theories. I take all of it with a large dose of salt. A grain of salt is not strong enough!
While Christians worldwide celebrate the risen Christ on this day, and churches are overflowing with people as the "Cheaster" folks attend (those who only attend church on Christmas and Easter Sundays), I happen to be one of those Christians who does not believe that Jesus died for our sins to "atone" for the original sin that we can never pay (according to Christian dogma, all humans are affected by the sin Eve committed by partaking of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. So, according to this bizarre belief, an all-knowing God punishes every human who ever lived to an eternity in hell if we don't accept His "gift" of Jesus the Saviour). Whenever I mention how absurd this view is, people act as though I'm the crazy one! Let's think rationally now. Does "Jesus as atoning sacrifice" make sense to you? If you believe that God is all-knowing and perfect, you would have to reject the idea of Jesus as atoning sacrifice. Why would a perfect God require a sinful human to kill another person as a sign of remorse and plea for forgiveness? Killing is a sin, so killing someone as an act of appeasing an angry God is ridiculous. God made us imperfect for a reason. The entirety of life is to learn and God gave us the gift of eternity to learn our lessons (in life after life).
On this holy day, I always feel like a heathen in church. I often wonder how many people sitting around me actually believe these stories from the Bible. Or do they go through the motions, so as to not disturb the community worship. I wish more people who attend church would be willing to analyze these stories and discuss them. Christianity is in desperate need of a transformation, reflecting current knowledge instead of holding fast to the ideas of ancient man. Instead, I'm somewhat of a heretic. But I'd have it no other way. I believe it is important to be honest with people about my beliefs and not pretend to believe a bunch of silly stories that have no relevance in the modern world. My view of Jesus reflects a nuanced view of history and modern life. In my worldview, Jesus did not die FOR our sins. Rather, he died BECAUSE OF our sins. Namely, the sin of humanity's intolerance for anyone who thinks outside of the box, who challenges the status quo, or who tries to inspire us to a more conscientious life. So, when I reject the Christ as atoning sacrifice story, I'm not rejecting Jesus. I'm rejecting the silly lie that has been passed down for two thousand years. Does it diminish Jesus at all if Christianity made an honest "adjustment" regarding the reasons Jesus died? His shocked and saddened followers had a reason to embellish his story to ensure that his memory lived on forever. After all, there have been many "messiahs" throughout history to have had a "virgin birth" and a "rebirth" / resurrection.
Whatever your beliefs, whether in Jesus as the Saviour or the Easter Bunny giving coloured eggs, have a Happy Easter!