A letter to a hypothetical Christian apologetic

Dear Christian apologetic,

I’d thought I’d make a few inquiries as to how your religion works. After all, you’re a moderate, straight-headed kind of person who could well have standard Christian beliefs and who isn’t afraid of accepting scientific discoveries, such as gravity, evolution, and you’re not the 1 in 5 Americans that believes that the Sun revolves around the Earth. In short, you’re a responsible moderate who is skeptical about scientific hypotheses (aren’t we all?) but not necessarily well established scientific proofs (that is to say, theories).

You’re also a moral person, no doubt. You are generous, loving and have responsibilities. You have an ethical system that you feel comes from the Bible, and that Jesus guides you life in a way that makes you a better person. More importantly, you believe that Jesus forgives your sins.

I was curious, however, as to what those sins actually are. You have the normal, day-to-day sins of life which I suppose everyone does, but as far as I’m aware, that doesn’t appear to be the sins Jesus is concerned with. I recently conversed with a priest (let’s call him Larry) who said to me that it is the wickedness in our hearts, from birth, are the sins that Jesus forgives so we might have eternal life. A natural sin, so to speak. I mean, I would say Jesus is sinless in that regard too, but not the normal day-to-day sins, I mean he was said to do some pretty disruptive things such as making the apostles abandon their mothers and fathers (James and John went up and left their dad on a boat!) and a few other examples.

So where does this inherent, born-with-it sin come from? Larry suggested it was handed down from us in generations, all the way from the original sinning of Adam and Eve, when they ate the fruit of knowledge. I have a few gripes with this if you wouldn’t mind entertaining me. To begin with, if I may borrow a quote  from the late Christopher Hitchens, it is if we are “created sick, and commanded to be well“; do you think that’s unfair? Secondly, why I am personally a sinful person because of something two people did thousands of years ago and to which I am extremely distantly related? Why would I even be blamed for my parent’s sin? Let’s say that it is just the way it is, do you think that is a moral thing- to say that a person is to be, without compunction, blamed for the errors of other people?

You’re a moderate Christian, and I would think perhaps appreciative that the creation myth in the Bible is a metaphor. You have a good grasp of evolution and history, and are aware that the Earth is really billions of years old, and that humans evolved collectively over a series of millennia, and that there was no real garden of Eden. After all, you’re a Christian, and the words of the Old Testament do not ring as important as those of the New. Adam and Eve were a metaphor then. If they were a metaphor, why did Jesus die in order to save ourselves from their errors? Why are we so full of sin from people who were made up?

That was another thing that bugged me. The sin was eating from the tree of knowledge, so that Adam and Eve might know right from wrong. But surely if one has not yet eaten from the tree, they didn’t know what they were doing was wrong, and so should be blameless, and God might’ve anticipated the danger of having a serpent in the garden with fully gullible humans around a fruit tree that God could have also not put there. I mean, God is all knowing, so wouldn’t he have predicted that?

Another question. By the way I am honestly not trying to be condescending in this, or indeed the rest of this letter. Why did Jesus have to die in order to forgive us our sins? Couldn’t a loving God simply forgive us anyway and let us get into heaven? Larry said that the last words of Jesus, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” indicated that Jesus was full of the burden of everyone’s sins and thus briefly couldn’t communicate with God. Where did Larry get this idea from? Why would our sins be such a burden in any case? I mean, God is all powerful; he could in the same breath make a billion Jesuses, forgive our sins, remove Ke$ha from the world and stop the needless pain and suffering of billions of church faithful. Why did He see fit to give us but one Jesus, an all-powerful deity, and one that was somehow weakened by the sins of mere mortals?

In any case, I do hope you reply to this letter. I have another, perhaps more controversial one that I’ll type out later, especially if I get a response.

Kindest regards,

freeze43

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~ by freeze43 on August 14, 2012.

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