Jump to content


Photo

A Redemptive Saviour?


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 Kaybe

Kaybe

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:VT, USA
  • Interests:More or less [i]anything[/i] creative. People, the most fascinating, rewarding, enriching creatures (pink, furry, scaly, feathery or otherwise). The quest for the divine.

Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:27 AM

I'm really hoping somebody can help me with this: I have asked for enlightenment directly, and waited patiently but I'm not sure I've received a complete answer so far.

As I understand it with the limited knowledge I have so far of the revelation, the suggestion that our Father would require a blood sacrifice is an affront to him. And so is the suggestion that he would punish those who refuse all correction, without end. A merciful and simple complete extinction makes far more sense to me.

Christ Michael (better known as Jesus) lived a complete mortal life, proceeding to the morontia resurrection stage as part of the plan to receive mastery of his creation, acknowledged by all within that creation and the celestials beyond. But if this is accepted, was it really necessary for him to be tortured to death like a criminal? What purpose does such a barbaric, ignominious and undignified death serve if it was not a punishment by proxy?

The redemptive value of traditional Christian teaching forms the basis of a very special, close bond between the believer who sees in Jesus the only possible sacrifice on their behalf. Is the revelation saying that there is no need for such a sacrifice and its acceptance? And what about the foreshadowing of the events, particularly Jesus' death and resurrection in the old testament by such things as the annual day of atonement? As I learn more about how the Bible has been ... changed ... throughout its history I find it harder to trust in its entirety, but am still reluctant to abandon its' teaching altogether.

To everyone who has helped to enlarge my understanding thus far, thank you sincerely. And to everyone who is willing to help me try to understand further, again, thank you.
On a frosty winters night, stand looking into the spangled sky, and listen carefully. Can you hear the spheres, singing in their courses?

If my questions seem naieve, please understand that I am a newcomer to the papers eager to learn more

#2 Bonita

Bonita

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,523 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

Posted 05 January 2011 - 12:11 PM

Greetings Kaybe,

I tend to give very long and winded answers that usually put people to sleep or confuse them even further. I'm going to try a new approach and answer with a single idea.

Consider why Jesus said, "Thy will be done". Jesus lived as an ordinary human in order to teach us God's will which is nothing more than devoting the inner life in loyalty to God and the outer life in loving service to man. What was revealed to us about the Father's will by Jesus' willingness to bear the cross? What in your personal life would compare to such a willingness, to display unquestioning loyalty to God's will? Have you ever felt the passion to say, “Even though he slay me, yet will I serve him.”

You might want to review Paper 188, sections 4 and 5. It is filled with good stuff:

188:4.12 The great thing about the death of Jesus, as it is related to the enrichment of human experience and the enlargement of the way of salvation, is not the fact of his death but rather the superb manner and the matchless spirit in which he met death.

188:5.4 The sufferings of Jesus were not confined to the crucifixion. In reality, Jesus of Nazareth spent upward of twenty-five years on the cross of a real and intense mortal existence. The real value of the cross consists in the fact that it was the supreme and final expression of his love, the completed revelation of his mercy.

188:5.6 The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the spirit of Jesus' attitude toward those who assailed him. He made the cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the victory of truth over evil when he prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." That devotion of love was contagious throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master. The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, "Lay not this sin to their charge."

188:5.7 The cross makes a supreme appeal to the best in man because it discloses one who was willing to lay down his life in the service of his fellow men. Greater love no man can have than this: that he would be willing to lay down his life for his friends—and Jesus had such a love that he was willing to lay down his life for his enemies, a love greater than any which had hitherto been known on earth.



#3 Nigel Nunn

Nigel Nunn

    Poster

  • Administrators
  • PipPip
  • 1,118 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia

Posted 05 January 2011 - 02:55 PM

Dear Kaybe,

When I first thought about this, in the context of the Urantia Book, an idea struck:
What is one thing almost impossible for a Creator Son to experience? What is one
of the most difficult things for we his creatures to endure? My guess: injustice.
Only on such a world, in such a state, could our Creator experience such a thing.

Recall, on the Mount of Transfiguration (Paper 158), that while the Eternal Son
and Infinite Spirit acknowledged the success his final bestowal, Jesus noted...

"[...] that his Father did not indicate that the Urantia bestowal was finished;" (1755.4) 158:3.4

The opportunity for Michael to suffer this unbearable cup may have been
too important, too valuable, too unique?

just a thought,
Nigel

#4 Kaybe

Kaybe

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:VT, USA
  • Interests:More or less [i]anything[/i] creative. People, the most fascinating, rewarding, enriching creatures (pink, furry, scaly, feathery or otherwise). The quest for the divine.

Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:00 PM

188:5.6 The triumph of the death on the cross is all summed up in the spirit of Jesus' attitude toward those who assailed him. He made the cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the victory of truth over evil when he prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." That devotion of love was contagious throughout a vast universe; the disciples caught it from their Master. The very first teacher of his gospel who was called upon to lay down his life in this service, said, as they stoned him to death, "Lay not this sin to their charge."

Thank you Bonita. I'm sure you won't be surprised if I tell you that I had to remind myself that those were not your words, but those of the Midwayer Commission, a body of people without whom I might never have begun studying the revelation. And this quote particularly, of those you cited, has given me something new to think about.

When I first thought about this, in the context of the Urantia Book, an idea struck:
What is one thing almost impossible for a Creator Son to experience? What is one
of the most difficult things for we his creatures to endure? My guess: injustice.
Only on such a world, in such a state, could our Creator experience such a thing.
...
The opportunity for Michael to suffer this unbearable cup may have been
too important, too valuable, too unique?

Thank you Nigel. Your "just a thought" underlines and reinforces what Bonita pointed out to me.

Edited by Kaybe, 05 January 2011 - 04:07 PM.

On a frosty winters night, stand looking into the spangled sky, and listen carefully. Can you hear the spheres, singing in their courses?

If my questions seem naieve, please understand that I am a newcomer to the papers eager to learn more

#5 Bonita

Bonita

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,523 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:20 PM

I'm not convinced that Jesus needed, or wanted to suffer from the experience of injustice. I firmly believe that he willingly allowed himself to be used in such a way as to help us understand what our response to injustice should be if we desire to live within the kingdom of God. The cross is the universe symbol of the triumph of love over hate the victory of truth over error.

Jesus experienced injustice his entire life, beginning at a very early age and he refused to defend himself even then. Jesus did not need to experience injustice, he needed to teach us how to react to injustice.

124.2.4 Perhaps his most unusual and outstanding trait was his unwillingness to fight for his rights. Since he was such a well-developed lad for his age, it seemed strange to his playfellows that he was disinclined to defend himself even from injustice or when subjected to personal abuse.



I believe that Jesus' death on the cross at the hands of injustice was meant to be a lesson for his creation, not for himself. With this single act he was able to put a spotlight on undeniable evidence of spirit domination of the soul. The following quote lists objective evidence of the existence of the soul through visible human behavior. Jesus' death was a means to reveal to us the importance of the powers of the soul in the face of horrible disappointment, crushing personal defeat and inexplicable injustice. Even to his dying breath, Jesus was a teacher and continues to be that same teacher living within our souls directing that same spiritual power which he revealed in his life and death.

101.3.4 Through religious faith the soul of man reveals itself and demonstrates the potential divinity of its emerging nature by the characteristic manner in which it induces the mortal personality to react to certain trying intellectual and testing social situations. Genuine spiritual faith (true moral consciousness) is revealed in that it: 1. Causes ethics and morals to progress despite inherent and adverse animalistic tendencies. 2. Produces a sublime trust in the goodness of God even in the face of bitter disappointment and crushing defeat. 3. Generates profound courage and confidence despite natural adversity and physical calamity. 4. Exhibits inexplicable poise and sustaining tranquillity notwithstanding baffling diseases and even acute physical suffering. 5. Maintains a mysterious poise and composure of personality in the face of maltreatment and the rankest injustice. 6. Maintains a divine trust in ultimate victory in spite of the cruelties of seemingly blind fate and the apparent utter indifference of natural forces to human welfare. 7. Persists in the unswerving belief in God despite all contrary demonstrations of logic and successfully withstands all other intellectual sophistries. 8. Continues to exhibit undaunted faith in the soul’s survival regardless of the deceptive teachings of false science and the persuasive delusions of unsound philosophy. 9. Lives and triumphs irrespective of the crushing overload of the complex and partial civilizations of modern times. 10. Contributes to the continued survival of altruism in spite of human selfishness, social antagonisms, industrial greeds, and political maladjustments. 11. Steadfastly adheres to a sublime belief in universe unity and divine guidance regardless of the perplexing presence of evil and sin. 12. Goes right on worshiping God in spite of anything and everything. Dares to declare, “Even though he slay me, yet will I serve him.



#6 JR Sherrod

JR Sherrod

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 204 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Interests:I am a Lapidary, and Jewelry Artist & Designer. I love reading the Urantia Book, science fiction, and speculative non-fiction. I am a Choral Singer. I was, at various times in my past, a Military Policeman, Police Instructor, Computer Programmer/Analyst, and Post-secondary technical instructor. I love astronomy, aeronautice & aerospace, and planes & rockets of all types. I bicycle and walk for fun and fitness. I am an Advanced Toastmaster - Bronze. I write Autobiographic Self-Help, and Speculative Non-Fiction.

Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:35 AM

Hello Kaybe! and, Hello Nigel and Bonita, too!

Such an earth-changing topic! Great question, and equally excellent replies. I am learning much. I am going to diverge somewhat in my comments about a Redemptive Savior, at least as concerns the use of the Urantia book in these threads. I also confess to being long-winded in this post; though I need the full text to adequately express my ideas. I hope you can forgive me...?

I have spent many, many hours in contemplation of the eternal value of Christ Michael's bestowal on our little world. My individual distillation of the teachings in TUB about Sin, Sacrifice, Forgiveness, and Atonement has lead me to write my ideas down. I have spoken to individuals about this very topic; and I have found that an effective method I can use to start the cultivation of another soul's readiness to discover TUB, is to use some one or another of said soul's religious book(s) as a concrete foundation. This allows me to expound the richness of TUB's teachings into the existing religious beliefs - a "graft", if you will, rather than an outright replacement.

Here goes...

In his earthly ministry, Jesus focused upon that which was most praiseworthy, to uplift mankind through positive reinforcement; and he simply did not cause shame or pain among the obedient and faithful! I believe Jesus Christ was horrified by the wholesale animal cruelty that was the system of Jewish temple worship in his day. Such a gentle, loving Son of God must have been repulsed and heartbroken to see, hear, and smell the slaughter and burning of so many animals.

It’s my belief that Jesus, when he knew he was to suffer a mortal death by crucifixion, seized the opportunity to save untold millions of animals (and human beings, as well), by teaching that He, himself, was the ultimate and last sacrifice that God would ever need. It was the only “New” aspect of his teaching concerning religious “blood-sacrifice.”

In order to not condemn, shame, or drive away the masses of tradition-bound Hebrews, Jesus had previously said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” [Matthew 5:17]
By inventing the concept of His taking upon himself the responsibility of being the last, greatest “blood-sacrifice” for all the faithful and obedient children of his Heavenly Father, Jesus seized an eternally powerful, mortally-fatal situation and made it divine! His own, mortal death by crucifixion was foreseen and accepted by Jesus Christ. Herein, Jesus discerned a multi-faceted opportunity to fulfill his own destiny, reveal eternal truths, and to teach by example.

The selfless declaration that He was the final atoning sacrifice must have been Jesus Christ’s way to try to move mankind even farther away from the savage, primitive religions and practices of “…sacrifice by blood & fire” and closer to his enlightened Gospel of becoming “At One” with God through willing obedience, honesty, humility, and loving service to fellow man.

I have not the slightest doubt that this profound use of the otherwise tragic circumstances of the mortal end of his life was divinely inspired. It was, at least to me, a crowning achievement, to tenderly and selflessly elevate mankind above the mire of a primitive past. Jesus tried to teach the people they did not need to continue the wholesale, barbaric system of animal sacrifice, while at the same time he would not condemn the people for having faithfully done so for thousands of years.

The substitution of “bread and wine” for the “body and blood” of another living being was touchingly merciful, and wholly beautiful. Here, for all time, was the full payment for the feelings of debt and separation from God because of sin; a new avenue for people to reflect upon their own sins and shortcomings, and return to God, through Jesus Christ. The ordinance of the “Sacrament” or “Communion” is the new and better way; it is the way to rise above killing another creature to supposedly atone for one’s own sins! Remember, “Thou shalt not kill.” [Exodus 20:13]

I am convinced that God doesn’t delight in the punishment or death of the unworthy or disobedient. Heavenly Father wants sincerity, humility, teachability, and faithfulness in the face of adversity. He wants children who will look to him for guidance and inspiration – and then courageously get to work doing something worthwhile! When they fall into sin, error, or misfortune, Heavenly Father wants his children to repent, rise up, and try again; and to do so in everlasting faith! Our Heavenly Father has a plan to help us all to mature into trustworthy, selflessly responsible beings; which beings cease to depend on someone or something else to pay their debts (mortal, physical, moral, spiritual, and eternal). We make the only genuine and eternal sacrifice to God - Sacrifice of our divergent, sovereign will back to God, as an upliftingly wonderful consecration; "...it is my will, that Thy will be done."

What better example and inspiration could there be than Jesus Christ, himself, on the cross? There he was, already having been rejected, shamed, humiliated, tortured, and unjustly sentenced to a barbaric death by crucifixion; all for daring to upset the applecart of an almost empty, rigid, needlessly law-bound & dogmatic form of Hebrew religion.

While Jesus was being brutally executed, He displayed tender love and mercy for the Roman executioners, individually, and for mankind, collectively: “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” [Luke 23:34] After being physically nailed to the cross to die, Jesus continued to teach, offer hope and salvation to the repentant thief, “…Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” [Luke 23:43]; he quoted scripture, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” [Psalm 22:1]; and professed unshakable, abiding faith in God Almighty, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit!” [Luke 23:46]

I believe it is primitive, childish, and immature to maintain that we can beat up, torture, kill, and burn another pure, perfect being in order to spiritually erase our own mistakes & shortcomings! Honestly, now; there is no inherent way a firstborn, perfect turtledove, or a lamb, or a ram, or a scapegoat, or a whole bullock is able to erase sin, cleanse mankind, and enable salvation - that type of religion is just one small step above human sacrifice! Among mankind, long, long ago, there were indeed, sacrifices of the best and bravest men and women; sacrifices of the cleanest and purist children and maidens; and there were, eventually, sacrifices of the best & purist animals. It is logical and simple to discern the truth that offering an animal was considerably better than an infant, child, maiden, or man.

It is altogether vain and selfish to assert such horrifying requirements came not from mankind’s own savagery and ignorance, but from the perfect and loving Heavenly Father. The next, necessary step away from barbarism is to stop sacrificing another living being, altogether, and to offer instead, as a sacrifice to God, our humble contrition, obedience, worship, and love.

Yet, here we are, the “enlightened” Christians at the dawn of the 21st Century, still preaching that a “human scapegoat,” Jesus Christ, is the ultimate human, blood sacrifice that erases all mortal sin, without really understanding what God & Jesus Christ were really trying to teach us. I have grown so tired of hearing that Jesus only came to “…suffer, bleed, and die…” for us, as if his earthly life had no worth, no value, beyond his torture and death. The way he died does indeed teach us profound lessons about how we are to face the difficulties and set-backs and unavoidable conditions manifested during a mortal life; but it is not the sole scene of eternal truth in the bestowal of Jesus Christ. Stop shouting that Jesus DIED for us, and start recognizing that He LIVED for us!

The earthly life that Jesus lived, though simply lived as the son of a carpenter, was altogether transcendent and inspiring! “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” [Luke 2:52] Here was God the Son, honoring and bringing eternal value to such a mortal existence by actually living a proto-typical mortal life from beginning to end, without sin. Having lived such a private, sinless life, fully and completely, and having “found God” as a man, Jesus then began an altogether too brief spiritual ministry in behalf of the ignorant, lost children of His Heavenly Father.

It would have been very easy to die; but of immeasurably more worth to Jesus and mankind was the challenge to live for, and as, a MAN. We should also remember, there was something of immeasurable value to Jesus, personally, that was granted to him only AFTER he was born, lived, and died as a mortal man, and then was resurrected to immortality.
“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you… Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” [Matthew 28:5-7 & 16-18]

Many possible gems of eternal worth are evident in the singular event of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. I believe it was, and is, an incredible capstone to the unique, everlasting edifice of love and service Christ Michael created through his entire Bestowal career.

This is a personal viewpoint; therefore, it might not have value to anyone else. No matter, I feel better posting my comments, and I really profit from the follow-on comments and/or excellent critiques.

"JR" Sherrod
Las Vegas, NV

Ah! To be host to God, Himself; and to be enriched beyond measure by that incomprehensible treasure!

#7 Kaybe

Kaybe

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:VT, USA
  • Interests:More or less [i]anything[/i] creative. People, the most fascinating, rewarding, enriching creatures (pink, furry, scaly, feathery or otherwise). The quest for the divine.

Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:51 AM

Thank you for sharing your insight J R. There were many points you made that I felt were worth commenting on, but really I would just be echoing what you had already said, so I will just quote this for emphasis:

He wants children who will look to him for guidance and inspiration – and then courageously get to work doing something worthwhile!


On a frosty winters night, stand looking into the spangled sky, and listen carefully. Can you hear the spheres, singing in their courses?

If my questions seem naieve, please understand that I am a newcomer to the papers eager to learn more

#8 Teobeck

Teobeck

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Herndon, VA
  • Interests:Religion. Music. Blues, Classic R&B and Gospel in particular.

Posted 08 January 2011 - 11:57 AM

Kaybe, Bonita, Nigel, All:

JR - That was a beautiful, heartfelt, thoughtful rendition. I confess that in my early years of reading TUB I had to reconcile much of what the Bible says with TUB, and ultimately concluded that TUB reports it in such a majestic way, overall, that I prefer it. For instance, whether it was an Angel who reported Jesus's resurrection to the women as in Matthew, or the Morontia Jesus himself in as in TUB, the message didn't change - He is risen. The facts may differ, but the message doesn't. We get so much more of an explanation in TUB, and I have always been hungry for that extra presentation. I have a blog going on this same subject at www.gospel-parallels.net, which refers readers to this board as well.

Then one has to realize how the Gospels came into being historically, recounted by the Apostles and others, in a time when education and writing was sparse, compared to the content, style and size of TUB. Finally, even today, how many people actually study the Bible in depth, and then even undertake a comparison? And, the differences in Bible interpretation have founded how many denominations?

Prior to TUB, I always believed the Holy Spirit interpreted scripture for me. Now I have added the Spirit of Truth, who TUB says reminds us of Jesus daily. The Holy Spirit is still with us also. TUB says they all may be referred to as One, God the Father. I prefer not to "strain at the details", as I cannot, alone, discern who does what. Thus how can I argue, other than to argue what the Bible says with what TUB says? It is not the argument that saves us, it is God the Father as Elohim (three persons), and the Bible and TUB are consistent on that. And, we are saved through faith, not argument.

Bottom line? You know the Good News, and have the faith that is a gift from God. That seals you. TUB reports Jesus said we may each understand differently, but we can have spiritual unity through him.

I believe that a lot of people have been and will be saved through Part IV of TUB as well. You and I are just a couple of guys who have read both books, and love the added attractions of TUB. I know the others here have read both also.

Edited by Teobeck, 08 January 2011 - 12:19 PM.


#9 Nigel Nunn

Nigel Nunn

    Poster

  • Administrators
  • PipPip
  • 1,118 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia

Posted 08 January 2011 - 02:46 PM

Dear "JR" Sherrod,

Thank you for taking the time and care to express those thoughts! In particular, these:

It’s my belief that Jesus, when he knew he was to suffer a mortal death by crucifixion, seized the opportunity [...]
[... snip...]
[...] that this profound use of the otherwise tragic circumstances of the mortal end of his life was divinely inspired.

A beautiful insight -- and powerful twist -- on our world's most famous event!

Nigel

#10 Bonita

Bonita

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,523 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:00 PM

I'm sorry, but it is not possible that Jesus was looking for an opportunity to stop the practice of blood sacrifice by establishing himself as a sacrificial lamb. The atonement doctrine is a Western Christian fabrication. Not even Eastern Christians accept this primitive idea which was invented by Paul and made dogma by the Nicene Council in 325 C.E.. It is my guess that this is one of Paul's teachings that led Abner to describe him as the, "clever corrupter of the life teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the living God." (166:5.5)

63.6.4 . . . And this is the origin of sacrifices as a part of worship. This idea was elaborated by Moses in the Hebrew ritual and was preserved, in principle, by the Apostle Paul as the doctrine of atonement for sin by “the shedding of blood.”

121.6.5 Some phases of Paul’s teachings regarding original sin and the atonement were original with himself.



The crucifixion and Paul's atonement doctrine are not responsible for ending blood sacrifices. Blood sacrifices continued in the Jewish religion up until the destruction of the temple when there no longer was an altar for the ceremony. However, the Jews at Mount Gerizim continue to sacrifice lambs for the Passover, even today. Muslims still sacrifice goats during Eid ul Adha. Bulls and Camel continue to be sacrificed in Lahore.

The atonement doctrine not only includes blood sacrifice, but the hopelessly backward idea that man can bargain with God, appease God, or convince him to pay attention to him and his desires. The reason why Jesus did not teach self-examination was because it leads to ideas of self-sacrifice as a means of obtaining forgiveness, another bartering tool centered on the self. Forgiveness is obtained by forgiving others, not by sacrificial negotiations with God.

It might be useful to review what TUB has to say on this subject. First, what is the atonement doctrine? It is the reconciliation of God and man through the death of Jesus Christ. Why would Jesus seize an opportunity to promote such a ridiculous idea when it denies the selflessness of God. What kind of mind could conceive of the idea that God's selflessness caused him to sacrifice his Son? Selflessness is not synonymous with sacrifice unless you're talking about sacrificing selfishness; and of course that makes no sense since Jesus was NOT the embodiment of selfishness that God would want sacrificed, even symbolically. Do you see how twisted and hopelessly primitive this kind of thinking is?

2.6.5 The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with the selfless love of the heavenly Father, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine, which is a philosophic assault upon both the unity and the free-willness of God.



The atonement doctrine is immutably tied to the concept of original sin. Original or racial sin is a horrible burden of guilt that no son of God should have to bear.

89.4.5 As man got away from the notion of the evolutionary origin of the race, as the traditions of the days of the Planetary Prince and the sojourn of Adam filtered down through time, the concept of sin and of original sin became widespread, so that sacrifice for accidental and personal sin evolved into the doctrine of sacrifice for the atonement of racial sin. The atonement of the sacrifice was a blanket insurance device which covered even the resentment and jealousy of an unknown god.



The idea of atonement was laid to rest by Melchizedek, but few were spiritually advanced enough to accept the idea that salvation is obtained by faith alone. It seems that Paul had the same problem. But let it be known that the Eastern Church and Islam, both with their roots in Abner's Philadelphia cult, did not succumb to the same corruption of the gospel which confused and alienated many honest souls right up until today.

93.6.4 This covenant of Melchizedek with Abraham represents the great Urantian agreement between divinity and humanity whereby God agrees to do everything; man only agrees to believe God’s promises and follow his instructions. Heretofore it had been believed that salvation could be secured only by works — sacrifices and offerings; now, Melchizedek again brought to Urantia the good news that salvation, favor with God, is to be had by faith. But this gospel of simple faith in God was too advanced; the Semitic tribesmen subsequently preferred to go back to the older sacrifices and atonement for sin by the shedding of blood.

149.2.3 1. The effort to connect the gospel teaching directly onto the Jewish theology, as illustrated by the Christian doctrines of the atonement — the teaching that Jesus was the sacrificed Son who would satisfy the Father’s stern justice and appease the divine wrath. These teachings originated in a praiseworthy effort to make the gospel of the kingdom more acceptable to disbelieving Jews. Though these efforts failed as far as winning the Jews was concerned, they did not fail to confuse and alienate many honest souls in all subsequent generations.



But TUB tells us that Paul had a conflicted mind on the subject of atonement. The Spirit within him must have been attempting to bring forth the truth, that Jesus was not a sacrificial lamb but a gift of love to the world; he was not a man of sorrows, but a great hope and an everlasting joy.

98.7.1 A Creator Son did not incarnate in the likeness of mortal flesh and bestow himself upon the humanity of Urantia to reconcile an angry God but rather to win all mankind to the recognition of the Father’s love and to the realization of their sonship with God. After all, even the great advocate of the atonement doctrine realized something of this truth, for he declared that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”



There is absolutely nothing in the last supper or in the crucifixion that could be possible connected to the fear and guilt ridden, completely selfish idea of atonement. Jesus' act of submission to the Father's will, even unto death, was an act which completely destroyed these things by revealing the very depth of the relationship between God and man, the degree of loyalty and commitment to completely selfless love. Selfish atonement was completely eradicated by the perfection of his selfless love with its emphasis not on the self, but on others.

103.4.4 Jesus swept away all of the ceremonials of sacrifice and atonement. He destroyed the basis of all this fictitious guilt and sense of isolation in the universe by declaring that man is a child of God; the creature-Creator relationship was placed on a child-parent basis. God becomes a loving Father to his mortal sons and daughters. All ceremonials not a legitimate part of such an intimate family relationship are forever abrogated.

188.4.9 All this concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness. Jesus taught that service to one’s fellows is the highest concept of the brotherhood of spirit believers. Salvation should be taken for granted by those who believe in the fatherhood of God. The believer’s chief concern should not be the selfish desire for personal salvation but rather the unselfish urge to love and, therefore, serve one’s fellows even as Jesus loved and served mortal men.



#11 Teobeck

Teobeck

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Herndon, VA
  • Interests:Religion. Music. Blues, Classic R&B and Gospel in particular.

Posted 08 January 2011 - 06:39 PM

One of the problems I have seen proposed by many UB readers is "how to overcome the objections of those who believe fundamentalist doctrines"?. I think the biggest barrier is when the UB is presented as being authoritative in such a way as it too is fundamentalist.

Jesus taught, according to TUB, that truth can withstand inspection, and that the best way to teach is not to destroy the learner's beliefs, but to teach what is good about the Gospel. Going legal won't solve anything.

My sense is that since both UB readers and fundamentalists believe in the Elohim Father, the divinity of Jesus as the Son, and salvation by faith, and since all Christians have only had the Bible to learn from through traditions existing for 2000 years, to attempt to "foist" TUB (now 55 years old) on them without discussion would be abjectly unfair. I too was once a fundamentalist for awhile.

The revelations in TUB are presented for your learning pleasure, and stand on their own merits for the reader. It took me several years of reading to understand all of the corollaries to the Bible, and to digest those meanings. Without the Bible as a basis, I would not have understood TUB meanings. After awhile, TUB replaced all of the "doctrine" I had assimilated over the first 20 years, and greatly enhanced my spiritual understandings. TUB then became truth for me. However, I also never deserted the Bible Gospels.

However, the Gospels of the Bible and TUB about Jesus are where the parallels are the greatest, before the changes of the religion "of Jesus" to the religion "about Jesus" as interpreted by humans, i.e. Peter and Paul. These "after Jesus" interpretations are how doctrine evolved. The idea of Jesus as the last atoning sacrifice is attributed to Paul, and is a doctrine believed by millions. That doctrine, by itself, doesn't affect the salvation through faith taught by Jesus. The love of Jesus, which comes through in TUB, could easily outweigh most doctrines if anyone gives TUB a chance.

So now if TUB readers add their voices to the doctrine arguments, it goes nowhere from a "joint" spiritual perspective. Bible reading Christians and TUB reading Jesusonians can get together and determine what they agree upon (essentially the Gospel), without rancor, if both parties apply the 11th commandment, which they both know. Then they will have the key to salvation, together.

This socialization of religion works best through open dialogue. TUB is focused on the Brotherhood of Man, and this comes from loving your brother as God loves you. If fundamentalist doctrine doesn't encompass this viewpoint, UB readers/believers could bridge the gap. Forgiveness is the keyword.

As an example, the media of today intentionally creates controversy so as to inflame emotion, which creates interest, which sells advertising. However, controversy itself is simply a difference of opinion. The facts involved in such controversies may or may not be true, and the only way to resolve those disputes is for the parties to examine the facts. If there isn't any proof, or the proof is not determinable, only compromise will resolve the problem. Compromise can be an agreement to disagree on some parts, and to agree on others. The atonement issue does not require complete abandonment of dialogue, as whether we were fallen as Paul argues, and then redeemed through the last sacrifice of Jesus, or, whether we were not fallen and no sacrifice was required, does not impinge on the belief that Jesus rose, thus certifying his love and teachings.

I realize this appears to be an irreconcilable issue, but it shouldn't be, as it doesn't seem to affect the salvation (survival) of the individual. Also, otherwise, why would we have the Angels of the Churches?

Edited by Teobeck, 09 January 2011 - 12:58 PM.


#12 JR Sherrod

JR Sherrod

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 204 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Interests:I am a Lapidary, and Jewelry Artist & Designer. I love reading the Urantia Book, science fiction, and speculative non-fiction. I am a Choral Singer. I was, at various times in my past, a Military Policeman, Police Instructor, Computer Programmer/Analyst, and Post-secondary technical instructor. I love astronomy, aeronautice & aerospace, and planes & rockets of all types. I bicycle and walk for fun and fitness. I am an Advanced Toastmaster - Bronze. I write Autobiographic Self-Help, and Speculative Non-Fiction.

Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:21 AM

One of the problems I have seen proposed by many UB readers is "how to overcome the objections of those who believe fundamentalist doctrines"?. I think the biggest barrier is when the UB is presented as being authoritative in such a way as it too is fundamentalist.
. . .

This socialization of religion works best through open dialogue. TUB is focused on the Brotherhood of Man, and this comes from loving your brother as God loves you. If fundamentalist doctrine doesn't encompass this viewpoint, UB readers/believers could bridge the gap. Forgiveness is the keyword.

. . . otherwise, why would we have the Angels of the Churches?



Hear, Hear! I wish that I had written that. . .
The symphony of dialog is intellectual music; the more spirited, the better!

"JR" Sherrod

Ah! To be host to God, Himself; and to be enriched beyond measure by that incomprehensible treasure!

#13 Bonita

Bonita

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,523 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:25 AM

When considering the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus one must be willing to examine the historical setting in which it all took place. Jesus came to uplift evolutionary religion, specifically the Jewish religion, which TUB tells us was the closest to the Melchizedek teachings at the time. To understand the full impact the crucifixion had on the first century psyche, one must consider the evolutionary religious context in which it occurred. From this viewpoint, one can easily see the many layers of symbolism that myth-making man has gleaned from that tremendous event. All religion is evolutionary. Revealed religion serves to augment that which already is and man must find a way to adopt new revealed ideas into the current symbolism. The fact that Paul chose a sin/sacrificial symbol does not explain the true nature of the crucifixion, but it does explain the religious culture of the time and the need to incorporate the event into the symbolism of that time. I hope this makes sense. Let me explain a little about the mindset of these first century Jews.

As TUB has explained, apocalyptic thinking began to dominate evolutionary religion about one hundred years before Michael's bestowal. Judaism, at the time, offered no separation between church and state. Religion was the law and it governed all of life. Therefore, such thinking also became the seedbed for revolution. So fervent were these Jews in believing in the supremacy of their God and their religion, as well as the fact that their God would rescue them if they held steadfast to the purity of the law, that we see the birth of martyrdom for the first time on the stage of Jewish history. The idea of willingly giving up one's life for one's religious beliefs was made a reality at the time of the Macabean Revolt. One must remember that a crucial part of apocalypticism is the belief in salvation from sin and evil as well as in the resurrection. Martyrs willingly gave up their lives because they knew they would triumph at the resurrection.

The story in 2 and 4 Macabees describes the blasphemy of Antiochus who stripped the temple and erected pagan idols, slaughtered swine on the altar and demanded that every Jew make a sacrifice to the Roman gods. Rather than succumb to the sacrilege of worshipping and sacrificing to pagan gods, a devout Jewish mother, Solomonia, firmly refused to obey Roman soldiers who, one by one, systematically slaughtered her seven sons as she watched, then their teacher and finally, after remaining steadfast, they martyred her. As this was reported throughout the land, an intensity of faith, not unlike what happened after stories of Christian martyrs circulated, girded up the Jewish people more firmly in their beliefs. So strong was the commitment to the belief in redemption and resurrection that martyrdom became a symbol of loyalty to the one true faith.

When Jesus was tried as a common criminal, a despicable and embarrassing event, the psyche of his Jewish disciples undoubtedly searched for a way to elevate the experience to a level of sanctity. When the resurrection was a proven fact, when Jesus appeared to most of his followers, the idea of martyrdom was inevitable. Of course these people would naturally honor Jesus with the highest symbol of sacrificial love they were capable of understanding. Was he not more heroic and holy than the martyred mother Solomonia who sacrificed 9 lives for the God of her faith. Jesus, being God's son, would logically be the obvious total and complete sacrifice when looking through the lens of a first century apocalyptic.

However, we are not first century men and women; apocalyticism should be a waning belief. We no longer need to rely on these archaic symbols of sacrifices and messiahs. The fact that the Church, and only the Western Church, insists on perpetuating this belief, is proof of their unwillingness to invest the talents given to them by their Master two thousand years ago. However, such primitive thinking cannot be changed overnight, it must evolve. The best way for this evolution to occur is to no longer give it attention, but instead to focus on higher ideals. Jesus taught us that we cannot change our minds by a mere act of will, we must fall in love with higher ideals such that we desire them over the older, less mature ones. Then, we make them a reality through habitual application, hence the very long ascension career.

When presenting new revealed ideas to those unfamiliar with TUB, we can certainly allow those who want to believe in sacrificial lambs to continue do so provided we offer a higher form of thinking in addition, not necessarily as an alternative. This means that we should not deny or negate the validity of the symbol but accept it as meaningful to that person. When Jesus said to not take anything out of a man's soul, this is what he meant. We only have to add something to it, the new (and we believe higher) idea. Then it is up to the individual to choose. All we can do as mortals is recognize, interpret and chose. Offer the idea, allow the listener to interpret by giving the Spirit of Truth the power to do his own work, and then accept the choice they make. Often it takes a great deal of time for a new idea to simmer in the evolutionary stew of one's mind until all the symbols line up in such a way that the truth is interpreted in a new light. It all depends on the spiritual capacity of the listener, something we really know nothing of, and it really is not our business to judge.

#14 Teobeck

Teobeck

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 145 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Herndon, VA
  • Interests:Religion. Music. Blues, Classic R&B and Gospel in particular.

Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:57 AM

Bonita said: .....Jesus said to not take anything out of a man's soul, this is what he meant. We only have to add something to it, the new (and we believe higher) idea. Then it is up to the individual to choose. All we can do as mortals is recognize, interpret and choose. Offer the idea, allow the listener to interpret by giving the Spirit of Truth the power to do his own work, and then accept the choice they make. Often it takes a great deal of time for a new idea to simmer in the evolutionary stew of one's mind until all the symbols line up in such a way that the truth is interpreted in a new light.....


Well said. I believe this is the whole purpose of the new revelation. This is how TUB worked for me, and some other Christians I have introduced to Part IV. It also worked on others who were on the fence anyway. TUB has an appeal of its own for the spiritually hungry, as I believe it was intended to have. Meredith Sprunger (Pastor) spent most of his life doing this work (much info on Urantia.org and Truthbook sites). TUB just spoke to his mind and heart.

I recently have been comparing the Gospels and TUB, after 20 years, and am just overwhelmed by how much more detailed and comprehensive TUB is, without losing the message. It just expands and enlightens it. It gives us a chance to know Jesus better, and thus understand better what he taught about the Father and the Holy Spirit. The amount of additional information is almost astronomical. TUB goes into great detail about the atonement doctrine, so the authors must have known that there would be some serious reactions to the explanation. While TUB doesn't demean Paul overall, and gives him extreme credit otherwise for his accomplishments, it also explains that this was Paul's way of trying to attract the Jews of his day. And, that Paul wasn't taught by and didn't live with Jesus. TUB also explains how few writings of Jesus' life survived, and that Paul's letters thus became a substantial part of the records that we do have.

After long contemplation and prayer, TUB's explanation of the Cross of Jesus became so beautiful and real to me that I couldn't resist it.

Best to all Christians and UB Jesusonians,

Ted

#15 Bonita

Bonita

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,523 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:27 AM

And what about the foreshadowing of the events, particularly Jesus' death and resurrection in the old testament by such things as the annual day of atonement?


Greetings Kaybe,

I've been thinking about this part of your original question, and of course any attempt to answer it on my part will result in countless words and then even more words (can't help myself). It takes a lot of time and work to write a post like that, so before I get myself all entangled in the necessary research, could you further elaborate on what you mean by including the annual day of atonement as a foreshadowing event? I see no direct correlation, but perhaps I'm not understanding what you wrote . . . a specific Bible quote perhaps??

A little background on the Jewish day of atonement, formally called Yom Kippur, the most important holiday of the year:

. . . In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work ... For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the L-RD. -Leviticus 16:29-30


This is a solemn day when Jews set aside all work, and fast and pray in a conscientious attempt to atone for their sins for the past year. Yom Kippur follows the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, which falls on the first and second days of Tishri, the seventh month. Yom Kippur occurs on the tenth day. For ten days following the new year Jews enter a period of introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. These are called the Days of Awe.

One of the ongoing themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that God has books that he writes each person's name in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but actions taken during the Days of Awe can alter God's decree. The actions that change the decree are repentance, prayer and good deeds. These books are sealed on Yom Kippur, the last day of appeal. However, this final day is meant to atone only for sins of man against God, not against his fellow man. Sins against other persons must be amended prior to Yom Kippur during the Days of Awe. This year Rosh Hashanah falls on September 28 and Yom Kippur on Oct. 7th.

The Jews of Jesus' time followed the exact same holidays and they had the same meaning then as they do now.

123.3.5 Having met John, who came from near Jerusalem, Jesus began to evince an unusual interest in the history of Israel and to inquire in great detail as to the meaning of the Sabbath rites, the synagogue sermons, and the recurring feasts of commemoration. His father explained to him the meaning of all these seasons. The first was the midwinter festive illumination, lasting eight days, starting out with one candle the first night and adding one each successive night; this commemorated the dedication of the temple after the restoration of the Mosaic services by Judas Maccabee. Next came the early springtime celebration of Purim, the feast of Esther and Israel’s deliverance through her. Then followed the solemn Passover, which the adults celebrated in Jerusalem whenever possible, while at home the children would remember that no leavened bread was to be eaten for the whole week. Later came the feast of the first-fruits, the harvest ingathering; and last, the most solemn of all, the feast of the new year, the day of atonement. While some of these celebrations and observances were difficult for Jesus’ young mind to understand, he pondered them seriously and then entered fully into the joy of the feast of tabernacles, the annual vacation season of the whole Jewish people, the time when they camped out in leafy booths and gave themselves up to mirth and pleasure.



Perhaps you are alluding to judgment day, which is entirely different, and part of apocalyticism and Mithraism? I can't see how books of judgment or judgment day have anything at all to do with the crucifixion though. Help me out.

98.5.4 The adherents of this cult worshiped in caves and other secret places, chanting hymns, mumbling magic, eating the flesh of the sacrificial animals, and drinking the blood. Three times a day they worshiped, with special weekly ceremonials on the day of the sun-god and with the most elaborate observance of all on the annual festival of Mithras, December twenty-fifth. It was believed that the partaking of the sacrament ensured eternal life, the immediate passing, after death, to the bosom of Mithras, there to tarry in bliss until the judgment day. On the judgment day the Mithraic keys of heaven would unlock the gates of Paradise for the reception of the faithful; whereupon all the unbaptized of the living and the dead would be annihilated upon the return of Mithras to earth. It was taught that, when a man died, he went before Mithras for judgment, and that at the end of the world Mithras would summon all the dead from their graves to face the last judgment. The wicked would be destroyed by fire, and the righteous would reign with Mithras forever.



#16 Howard509

Howard509

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:45 AM

What if we see Jesus not being offered up to appease the wrath of an angry God but as God in the flesh offering up himself to the world? That would get at the original meaning of atonement, which is at-one-ment or attunement.

P437:5, 39:5.6 In the more advanced epochs of planetary evolution these seraphim are instrumental in supplanting the atonement idea by the concept of divine attunement as a philosophy of mortal survival.
http://urantiabook.o...5.html#P039_5_6


The doctrine of substitutionary atonement wasn't formulated until Anselm, a thousand years after the death of Christ. The original interpretation of Jesus' death was the moral influence theory of atonement, which is very similar to what the Urantia Book teaches.

Edited by Howard509, 08 December 2012 - 05:55 AM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#17 Bonita

Bonita

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,523 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:06 AM

What if we see Jesus not being offered up to appease the wrath of an angry God but as God in the flesh offering up himself to the world? That would get at the original meaning of atonement, which is at-one-ment or attunement.


Yeah, but Jesus' attunement was doing the will of God. He didn't offer himself up to anybody or anything. Offering up means sacrifice. Jesus was not sacrificed. He was murdered and he refused to defend himself according to God's will. The entire atonement doctrine is flawed no matter how you think about it.

The doctrine of substitutionary atonement wasn't formulated until Anselm, a thousand years after the death of Christ. The original interpretation of Jesus' death was the moral influence theory of atonement, which is very similar to what the Urantia Book teaches.


It says here that the Christian atonement doctrine originated with Philo and Paul. In fact, the shedding of blood for sins was an idea long before Anselm, or even Philo and Paul. The issue here is the sacrificial shedding of blood, regardless of the reason. And there is no good reason, not then, not now, not ever.

121:6.5 Many, but not all, of Philo’s inconsistencies resulting from an effort to combine Greek mystical philosophy and Roman Stoic doctrines with the legalistic theology of the Hebrews, Paul recognized and wisely eliminated from his pre-Christian basic theology. Philo led the way for Paul more fully to restore the concept of the Paradise Trinity, which had long been dormant in Jewish theology. In only one matter did Paul fail to keep pace with Philo or to transcend the teachings of this wealthy and educated Jew of Alexandria, and that was the doctrine of the atonement; Philo taught deliverance from the doctrine of forgiveness only by the shedding of blood. He also possibly glimpsed the reality and presence of the Thought Adjusters more clearly than did Paul. But Paul’s theory of original sin, the doctrines of hereditary guilt and innate evil and redemption therefrom, was partially Mithraic in origin, having little in common with Hebrew theology, Philo’s philosophy, or Jesus’ teachings. Some phases of Paul’s teachings regarding original sin and the atonement were original with himself.

#18 brooklyn_born

brooklyn_born

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 349 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY
  • Interests:Urantia, Bible, mysticism, metaphysics, computers.

Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:43 AM

I'm really hoping somebody can help me with this: I have asked for enlightenment directly, and waited patiently but I'm not sure I've received a complete answer so far.

As I understand it with the limited knowledge I have so far of the revelation, the suggestion that our Father would require a blood sacrifice is an affront to him. And so is the suggestion that he would punish those who refuse all correction, without end. A merciful and simple complete extinction makes far more sense to me.

Christ Michael (better known as Jesus) lived a complete mortal life, proceeding to the morontia resurrection stage as part of the plan to receive mastery of his creation, acknowledged by all within that creation and the celestials beyond. But if this is accepted, was it really necessary for him to be tortured to death like a criminal? What purpose does such a barbaric, ignominious and undignified death serve if it was not a punishment by proxy?

The redemptive value of traditional Christian teaching forms the basis of a very special, close bond between the believer who sees in Jesus the only possible sacrifice on their behalf. Is the revelation saying that there is no need for such a sacrifice and its acceptance? And what about the foreshadowing of the events, particularly Jesus' death and resurrection in the old testament by such things as the annual day of atonement? As I learn more about how the Bible has been ... changed ... throughout its history I find it harder to trust in its entirety, but am still reluctant to abandon its' teaching altogether.

To everyone who has helped to enlarge my understanding thus far, thank you sincerely. And to everyone who is willing to help me try to understand further, again, thank you.


Based on my understanding of TUB I am of the opinion that as you move further away from the divine source and approach closer to the animal kingdom, spiritual lessons take on a more "barbaric" nature in the way they are administered. It is part of the process of raising or evolving the spirit from the lowest form of creation, the animal state, into divine order. So if Michael the great of Prince of Nebadon steps foot into the animal realm, he would expect the lessons to find expression in a very brutal and barbaric way.

BB

Edited by brooklyn_born, 08 December 2012 - 08:46 AM.


#19 -Scott-

-Scott-

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,023 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:Camping, Hiking, Soccer, Movies, Games,

Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:08 PM

The -Enmity of the World- is a neat section about this. The more spiritual you become the more you will either be hated or love there is not much inbetween. Light has sharp edges, when people see a person of light they either embrace it or completely reject it with zeal. Jesus was hated because of his luminosity, people saw the light and rejected it. But even his enemies feared his presence and had a strong respect for him.

Luckily in North America people are not murdered for who they are and what they represent. But in other countries this freedom does still not exist. There are many countries that you could walk into as a urantia book reader and be brutally killed for what you believe.

Edited by -Scott-, 08 December 2012 - 12:09 PM.

If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#20 Howard509

Howard509

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 352 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

It says here that the Christian atonement doctrine originated with Philo and Paul. In fact, the shedding of blood for sins was an idea long before Anselm, or even Philo and Paul. The issue here is the sacrificial shedding of blood, regardless of the reason. And there is no good reason, not then, not now, not ever.


Are you familiar with the new perspective on Paul? I'd like to see where in Paul's writings that Jesus was offered to appease the wrath of an angry God.

In scholarly literature it has been generally recognised for some time that the penal substitution theory was not taught in the Early Church.[1][2][3][4][5][8][9][11] The ransom theory of atonement in conjunction with the moral influence view was nearly universally accepted in this early period.[12][13][14] Christian theologians, particularly from the fourth century AD onward, began to hold a variety of other atonement ideas in addition to this view, particularly the Ransom theory of atonement.[15] Controversy around atonement doctrine in the early centuries centred on Athanasius' promotion of a mystical view in which Christ had brought salvation through the incarnation itself, by combining both God and humanity in one flesh.[16] This view of atonement required that Jesus be fully divine and fully human simultaneously, and Athanasius became embroiled in controversies on the Trinity and Christology as a result.
Scholars vary widely regarding how much they are willing to see precursors to penal substitution in the writings of some of the Early Church fathers. There is general agreement that no writer in the Early Church taught penal substitution as their primary theory of atonement. Yet some writers appear to reference some of the ideas of penal substitution as an afterthought or as an aside. The ransom theory of atonement, which became popular during the fourth century AD, is a substitutionary theory of atonement, just as penal substitution is. It can therefore be difficult to distinguish intended references to the ransom view by Early Church writers from real penal substitutionary ideas. Patristics scholar J.N.D. Kelly is one of the scholars most willing to see precursors to penal substitution in the Early Church writings, and points to a variety of passages which "pictur[e] Christ as substituting himself for sinful men, shouldering the penalty which justice required them to pay, and reconciling them to God by his sacrificial death." [17] While scholar J. S. Romanides[18] disagrees with Kelly's reading of these passages. Instead, he argues that they, like the Eastern Orthodox Church of today, understood humankind as separating themselves from God and placing themselves under the power of sin and death. The work of Christ is viewed, he says, not as a satisfaction of God's wrath or the satisfaction of justice which God was bound to by necessity, but as the work of rescuing us from death and its power. He argues that the notion of penal substitution was never contemplated until Augustine, and was never accepted in any form in the East. Further and similarly to Romanides, Derek Flood[19] argues (through the example of Justin Martyr, Augustine and Athanasius) that the Early Church never held an atonement theory of penal substitution but, rather, a restorative substitutionary model of the atonement, and that penal substitution was not truly developed until Calvin. Gustaf Aulén, in his classic Christus Victor, argues that the ransom theory was the dominant understanding of the atonement for over a thousand years and that the penal substitution theory came only after Anselm.
To take patristic examples from among the Latin Fathers, St. Augustine writes that "by His [Jesus'] death, the one most true sacrifice offered on our behalf, He purged abolished and extinguished ... whatever guilt we had." This is one of several strands of thought: he expounds the mediating work of Christ, his act of ransoming humankind and also the exemplary aspect of Christ's work. As with his predecessors, such as Justin Martyr c.100-165 and Gregory of Nazianzus the imagery of sacrifice, ransom, expiation, and reconciliation all appear in his writings—all of these, however, are themes embraced by other atonement models and are not necessarily indicative of penal substitutionary atonement.[20] Gregory of Nazianzus, for example, explicitly denied that Christ died as a payment to God (or to the devil), preferring to say that God accepted Christ's work as a way to rescue humanity, rather than a way to placate God's wrath or purchase forgiveness from God.[21] Augustine's main belief regarding the atonement was not penal substitutionary but, like Gregory's, the classic, or ransom, theory.[22]
The dominant strain in the writing of the Greek Fathers, such as St. Athanasius, was the so-called "physical" theory that Christ, by becoming man, restored the divine image in us; but blended with this is the conviction that his death was necessary to release us from the curse of sin, and that he offered himself in sacrifice for us.[23] For Athanasius, however, Christ's substitution is not a payment to God, but rather a fulfillment of the conditions which are necessary to remove death and corruption from humanity; those conditions, he asserts, exist as consequences from sin.[24]
http://en.wikipedia....ry_of_atonement


If you read On the Incarnation by Athanasius, for example, you'll see that instead of arguing that Jesus was offered to appease the wrath of an angry God, Jesus willingly died so that in rising, he could conquer death for all humanity. The early Christians did not see Jesus' death and resurrection as two separate events. Rather, they saw the wages of sin as death and that, in order to restore life to sinful humanity, Jesus died and rose again.

Unless you have a frame of reference for discussing early church history other than whatever one finds in the Urantia Book, you might not be familiar with the things I am saying. The point is that the early church was closer to what the Urantia Book teaches than you might think.

It perhaps wasn't until the Reformation that Jesus' death was seen as having a special meaning apart from his resurrection. Protestants often say that Jesus only rose in order to prove that he had the power to die for our sins, which is really quite backward. Jesus died instead in order to demonstrate his power over death in the resurrection.

Edited by Howard509, 08 December 2012 - 04:10 PM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users