What’s The Deal With The New Testament

If I had a nickel each time somebody informed me that Jesus died for my sins, I’d be a very rich sinner.

I’d really hate to say this to Jesus, but I’ll tell you: he died for nothing. It was a great move and a noble idea, but the result is far from achieved. To understand that, we should explore this story from the beginning.

And the beginning is in Paradise, where the guy named Adam takes a bite of an apple. Except it wasn’t an apple. It was a fruit from Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

What is important here is that Adam was not supposed to eat that. That was the only thing he shouldn’t taste. Of course, God saw him and, of course, God got angry. That’s how the long history of his bad moods begins. He kicked Adam and Eve out of Paradise. And he put an angel with a flaming sword on the door so they can’t reach the fruit from the other tree, the Tree of Life, thus making them mortal. Like that wasn’t enough, he made them work for their food and Eve was to suffer giving birth.

Eating that fruit was the original sin. Everybody since were born with it.

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise by Francesco Curradi

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise by Francesco Curradi

I find it kinda sick, that worldview where everybody is born with inherited sin, as with some kind of birth-given defect. But billions of people in history took it for granted. And millions still do. It wouldn’t be fair to say that that kind of story is judeo-christian exclusivity. Nor to say that it’s just a sick mythology. There is much more in it than meets the eye and the story of original sin is not just an empty tale.

Years after kicking Eve and Adam out of Paradise, God made several deals with human kind. Representatives of the later side being Noah, Abraham and Moses. That’s the Old Testament. Part of those deals made people responsible for what their cousins, neighbours, friends and tribe-mates do. Somebody in the house next to yours do something wrong, the next day the whole village is on fire. Which led to nice and cheerful events like stoning to death or excommunication of whoever was found or even thought guilty of something that might hurt the sensitive moral taste of the all-seeing God.

Crucifixion by Dali

Crucifixion by Salvador Dali

Centuries later, Jesus came. And died. For our sins. And that’s New Testament. A new deal of God and his favourite creation. Let’s take a bit closer look to it.

The deal was: Jesus dies and pays the debt of the original sin. Before that, each human owed something because of their oldest predecessors and everybody could be a part of that group sin thing. Since Jesus died, everybody was on its own. No inherited debts. No paying for the misbehaviours of the neighbours.

Whatever one think of Bible, christianity and religions, this was a huge step in the evolution of human consciousness. It was a moment when human stepped out of the tribe and became an individual. Remember that when fellow christians (or muslims they are from the same lineage) try to burn some witches for something they think that God doesn’t like. Sadly and ironically enough, those whose mouth are full of Jesus are usually first to throw a stone like there was no New Testament, like we’re still in the old, tribal age.

Sorry Jesus, they missed the point. But that’s not all.

We’re still out of Paradise, still haven’t got rid of that original sin, right? One man dying on the cross is not enough for that. If you wanna go back, you’ll have to do it on your own. Not to expect somebody else to do the job.

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  • What if it was all just a metaphor? :-P

  • I actually think of all of it (OT, NT, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, crucifixion…) as a metaphor. :)
    I'm not religious in any traditional sense of the word, so for me it really isn't important if those stories are myths or history. I just like to explore them as something that humans created. And that creation turned out to have some clues about ourselves and our history and development. 

  • I am or I guess, was religious in the traditional sense and I find it frustrating how literal people can take the Bible. I'm not saying it isn't true or right, but I am saying it is a very long book about trying to make sense of the world we live in.
    I don't believe all the answers are in the Bible. I believe it shows us how people tried to find all the answers.
    I don't like it when people use any religion to judge, condemn, kill or hide behind. But that's just me.

  • All the answers can't be in the Bible, not in any other book. But it can, as many other books, aid the process of our discovering the answers.
    You nailed the point when you said "trying to make sense of the world we live in". I still have to write the post about sense and religion.

  • This reminds me of Romans 5.

    Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…
    But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!…. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

    Jesus' death on the cross was absolutely sufficient and he did not die for nothing. You may recall that he prayed that if there was any other way for God's redemptive plan to be fulfilled that the responsibility could pass from him. But there was no other way. This was the ultimate act of history and you despise it to your own loss.
    No, we aren't in Paradise yet but that day is coming for the humble few. The Kingdom of God is near, as Jesus constantly said, and he is recruiting. If you will believe in Jesus you can begin to experience a changed heart and victory over sin. In fact you will be able to eat from that Tree of Life.

    Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
    -Revelation 22:14

  • I don't despise Jesus' act. As I said, that was a huge step in human evolution. I despise the flock that, no matter what they are saying and wearing, still live up to Old Testament. 
    As of getting back to Paradise, it is "near" for 2000 years. Honestly, it's hard to believe in second coming as preachers want us to believe. It simply doesn't make much sense. But it's a nice story, and people love to buy nice stories. 
    If you take a look at Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, you might see a hint of what is happening while somebody's been baptized by Jesus or some of the early christians. It sounds more like step closer to Paradise (though those people were still mortal) than what's promised by John. Still, nothing like that happens anymore. I guess that the link of modern day priests to the source was lost.

  • Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' –Luke 10:9
    Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you. –Luke 17:20-21
    The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. –Hebrews 7:18-19
    But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. –Romans 10:8-9

    I think these verses show that when the nearness of paradise, or the kingdom of God, was spoken of it wasn't in the sense of time (though there are other passages that do seem to talk about time). The point is that spiritually speaking our access to God is close. To the spiritually dead there is no access to God, but he offers that access through Jesus Christ freely to everyone.
    You mention priests, and it is interesting how the Bible describes Christians as a kingdom of priests, quite different from how the Catholic church works. We are all called to an intimate relationship with the Living God. ( I say that, but my intimacy could be vastly improved. )
    When you mention the Gospels and Acts I'm not sure if you are thinking about the good behavior and community of the people or the miraculous stuff. I can tell you that the beautiful community of believers does still happen today in many places and it is like a foretaste of Heaven. One of my best experiences so far was on that missions trip I was on when I took that octopus photo. I was on a ship with 350 Christians from 40 different nationalities. The community was incredible. The love and life in that place was infectious. Praise God.
    As for the miraculous, that is harder to find but it does still happen all around the world. Especially where the Gospel is breaking new ground in unreached people groups.

  • Paradise as a state of mind that comes for each one individually makes much more sense. 
    As of Acts I though of this part:

    Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 8:18

    It seems that baptism today is nothing more than an empty ritual, in the name of Christ but not in the name of Holy Spirit. Personally, it doesn't matter as I don't believe in the need for the middle man. But I'm not a christian anyway.

  • A Follower In The UK

    I'm a British Christian but I've only been one since the mid noughties, so I've seen Christianity from the viewpoint of an Agnostic.  All I can say is I reached out to God in a very,very dark time in my life and He answered! All my Agnostic scepticism was swept away by a massive wave of supernatural love. I come up against angry and highly cynical Atheists and Agnostics all the time and all I can do is speak from my own personal experience.
    For me, God isn't the problem, it's human beings who warp and twist His Son's teachings.
    You might not understand the Bible but to Christians like me who read it daily with the help of the Holy Spirit, it is very, very meaningful indeed.
    Jesus isn't a middle man, He's part of the Holy Trinity and therefore fully connected to God and the Holy Spirit.
    The Pope doesn't set Christianity's rules, nor does any other human being.
    The rules were set thousands of years ago by an all-knowing, omnipresent God who is much, much wiser than any human being, past or present.
    He has improved my life immensely and continues to do so. 
    I know who I trust in! 

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