I know a lot of people are put off by some of the things Christians and the Bible say about Jesus. Let me contribute a few thoughts which I hope will help a few people to
make peace with Jesus and move on:
- Many people have a problem with Jesus being the "only way" to reach God, or the Heaven He inhabits, and this makes God seem intolerant. Rather than focusing on "you
must believe this..." sort of issues, what if all Jesus meant is that you have to be completely loving, like He demonstrated, before qualifying to leave the schoolroom of
this world? In that sense, it just means that to have a loving relationship with God you have to learn to be loving, which is obvious, but also completely loving,
which is why we aren't done yet. I believe that if you are earnestly searching for the truth then eventually you will find becoming like Jesus to be the best goal, and
following Jesus instructions to be the best course. If you have a problem with Jesus, I believe you will have to deal with that on your way to knowing the complete truth
about God, regardless of where you started.
- If believing in the name "Jesus" is required to be saved, what about everyone who never hears? It doesn't seem reasonable that God would penalize people for
being born into a population with a low proportions of Christians, does it? Unless we are gravely mistaken about the nature of love, and God has more work to do than we
thought, something about these premises must be wrong. The way I understand it, it isn't the syllables "Jes-us" which are the important thing, it is the goal we set for who
we want to become. Also, God, being defined as omniscient, must be fully aware of my limitations, ignorance, fears, etc., and would have at least as much compassion for me
as I would for someone else in my predicament. If we can agree that people in non-Christian cultures have some understanding of love, it should be possible for them to
learn to be loving even without knowing of Jesus example. I realize that a common Christian belief is that at the moment of death, if you aren't saved yet, it's too bad.
One reason I doubt that it is that simple is that, if we arrived in Heaven and found all our loved ones missing because they didn't have time to be saved, it wouldn't be
very heavenly, would it? The bottom line is, if I trust God to be more loving than myself, then even if I don't understand completely how salvation works, I can trust the
process and overcome my fear of engaging in it.
- Surely you don't believe that some Jew who lived a few millennia ago was God?! [/shame] I wouldn't want someone to think I am silly, would I? Especially
someone who thinks they know everything that is important, even though they are actually just as much in the dark regarding the most important properties of our reality as
I am. After seeing how empty the fundamental assumptions underlying our default worldview are, I've started seeing the human race as unanimously blind, deluded and insane.
Why should I care what a crazy person thinks of what I believe, especially after already admitting that I am crazy, on a quest for sanity? Jesus' analogy for this is that
we are all going around with logs in our eyes while trying to correct each other's vision. But to answer the question, I observe that Jesus seems to express the character
of God, seems to have great understanding of God, seems to have a God-like authority over nature, and claims to have an intimate relationship with God and to be more like
God than like us in terms of His worldview and values. As far as really knowing who He is, I will have to finish my work to know that. It doesn't really matter though, does
it? To love God and hate Jesus would require quite a strange conception of God, one I don't think I would want! And God knows I can only live by faith, not sure
- You don't believe all that miracle stuff do you? Born of a virgin? Come on! [/shame] Like above, feelings of shame are the solder that keeps many of us from
embracing what is both attractive and convincing to believe. Consider, though, that the existence of God is the biggest miracle of all, and would account for all the
other miracles, so really any debate should focus on that. Materialists aren't off the hook anyway - they still have to explain how our great, marvelous universe, with all
its structure, apparently came out of chaos. How can they even speak, when the existence of reason itself seems inexplicable? Why should we be able to understand anything,
or be intelligent? Why should there even be such a thing as intelligence if the universe came from an unintelligent source? Another way past shame is to realize that the
person the world taught me that I am isn't real. Since my worldview is based on assumptions, I don't really know anything, which means I don't really know myself and
neither does anyone else. Anyone who attacks me is attacking an illusion, while my true identity is safe with God. I also don't have to be responsible for defending the
truth because only God has access to it. Without claiming to know anything for sure, nobody can gain any leverage over me. This may sound philosophical, but the practical
outcome is that I can speak courageously without fear of rejection while not feeling the need to seek praise from other people.
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