All the Christian sects, but particularly the American fundamentalist, evangelical, protestants, make a big thing about Christ being our personal savior. Ignoring the problem of how it could be personal as well as covering all mankind forever, I would like to ask them all about what I think is the most basic problem for any person trying to come to grips with Christianity.
God gave his only son to a horrible death on earth to save us. How could such a requirement ever come to exist? God is all powerful. Presumably he did not want to do this to his son. Does this not therefore indicate the presence of a force on God which he could not resist? How could suffering like that earn credit with or for any all-powerful being?
Sacrifices of animals and even humans made sense to ancient peoples (e.g., Aztecs, Hebrews, etc.), but now we know this is barbaric behavior based on ignorance and mindless unwilling suffering which can not achieve anything. I can understand how this notion made sense in years past and how this let Christianity get off the ground – but now?
I am amazed at how few people can give an answer to this other than something like: It is a mystery. You just believe or not – faith, etc. Surely we are entitled to better than that. Even when the Pope tries to answer it he gets into a metaphysical tangle.
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