Our Need For A Savior

Anyone familiar with the teachings of Christianity is familiar with the concept of sin and our need for reconciliation. This is the main theme, if you will, of the religion. Basically, God is good. We are not. God demands that we fix that and become acceptable in his eyes. But what does that really mean?

The concept of original sin comes to us via the Bible in Genesis 3:6.

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

This is where “the fall of man” happened. Eve disobeyed God, as did Adam, and humanity was cursed because of it. In Romans 5:12, it is said “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” Sin was said to have entered into this world through Adam. This one man sinned and now we are all guilty of sin simply by being born. We are all said to be descendants of Adam and are therefore guilty by association. We have a sinful nature about us. Cursed from the moment of our conception. God was so angry that Adam disobeyed him, he cursed all of those who came after him. Such love. Such justice.

There those of us who no longer believe this. Of course, there are some of us who never believed it. There are a lot of us who are disgusted at the mere thought of it. And then there are those among us who not only believe it, but preach it and are quite troubled when others refuse to accept it. There is some flawed reasoning among believers when it comes to the idea of sin. There is a misunderstanding of human nature that, when brought up in a conversation, goes something like this (I have added what my responses would be if I were in this conversation):

“You know right from wrong, don’t you?”

“Yes. I have a conscience.”

“How is it that we all know right from wrong, even from the earliest age? How is it that children know they are being bad or good? Why do young children do bad things?”

“People have to live with other people. They can ascertain what is beneficial or harmful to the group by interacting with others. Living together as a society helps determine what we do. Hurting others, stealing or lying is not in the best interest of the group. There are exceptions, of course, and oftentimes we have to lie or do things for our own survival or well-being. Why do children do bad things? Because they have limited abilities. Their language is underdeveloped. So they hit, kick and bite in order to show their displeasure. They scream when their thoughts cannot be properly conveyed due to limitations of their speech. In short, they simply do not know any better…yet.”

“Wrong. Kids are bad because they are born into sin through the fall of man. God cursed us all because of Adam’s sins and we now need to be made pure in God’s eyes. Our children need to raised up in homes that preach the truth, know the gospel and love God. Good only comes from God and therefore our own desires are not of God, but of the enemy of God. Our words and deeds, if done on our own, will lead us to destruction. God gives us a moral compass in the form of the holy spirit which lives in us and guides us. That is how we know right from wrong.”

“Well that sounds a bit ridiculous to me. I assume you have some evidence of this. Do you have a way to prove what you say is true or are you just saying it is true because you believe it?”

“I have all the proof I’ll ever need right here.” (holds up Bible)

“Okay, we’re done here.”

Yes, most of us have a good understanding of right and wrong. We know what is beneficial to ourselves and others and also what is not. We, even as children, know if we are being “good” or “bad.” We know this regardless of whether we believe in a god or not. The atheist, as well as the most pious of believers, know right from wrong. It is a universal knowledge. The few who do not know the difference, often commit horrible atrocities. Okay, so we know right from wrong? So what? What is your point? The problem we see with Christianity is that people go too far. They take people’s understanding of morality and try to manipulate it. Christianity tries to shove original sin into the same box as our conscience. And it simply does not fit.

We know when we are wrong. We know when we’ve hurt someone else. We know what guilt, shame and remorse feel like. We recognize it and want to do better in order to not feel that way again. What Christianity tries to do is take advantage of those feelings and add some more guilt, shame and remorse to your life. We all have the ability to recognize when we are in the wrong. We don’t, however, inherently know about original sin. We have to be taught about Adam, Eve, Jesus and God. These are not instinctually supplied to our brains the way our conscience is. We could go our whole lives without hearing the stories contained in the gospels and we’d be just fine. We’d still know right from wrong and we’d know what was beneficial or harmful to others. Hearing the gospel only adds unnecessary guilt without providing one shred of evidence of its veracity outside of the scriptures.

So, if there is no evidence that corroborates the Genesis story or any other scripture-based story, why would anyone believe in the concept of sin? If there is no evidence that there are eternal consequences of our actions, why do people tell others that they are cursed and need to repent…or else? Why would there be a need for a savior, such as Jesus, to come and make things right in order to cancel our debts and clear a pathway to heaven? Is it for control? Financial gain? Sure, these things do exist in our churches and they certainly existed in the ancient churches. But I think, more often than not, we are simply deceived. We were taught something that someone else believed, who was taught it by someone else, who was taught it by someone else, etc… Our emotions play a big role in our beliefs. Trust does as well. We trust those who teach us out of love, even though they may be wrong.

The bottom line is this: We should only believe things for which we have good reason to do so. Yes, we have a conscience. Yes, we have an understanding of right and wrong. We can believe this is true because we can observe it, as can others. We don’t, however, have good evidence to conclude anyone named Adam or Eve existed in a Garden of Eden. We have no evidence of a talking serpent who deceived them, causing them to sin. We have no evidence for a god and therefore have no reason to think that sin is a real thing. Needing to be saved from our sin is especially difficult without good reason to believe it exists in the first place. There really is no reason to accept the notion that someone named Jesus died for our sins, rose again and is awaiting us in heaven when none of the things he came here for can be reasonably accounted for. If you have one source that cannot be corroborated or substantiated, it is not good evidence. And if it is not good evidence and you have no good reason to believe it, why hold onto it? And, more importantly, why would you ever try to teach it to others? If it was so important and we were all supposed to know it, we would. A loving god would see to that. But that hasn’t happened, has it?

If you have to teach someone to feel something that they were supposedly born with, then they were not born with it. If you have to teach someone about something that they were not aware of and then teach them to feel bad about it, you are wrong. Teaching children to feel ashamed of things for which they are not guilty, is not just wrong. It is abuse. Teaching children these stories quite often leads them to teach their own children. I know. I did it myself. This endless cycle of shaming others might help keep the pews filled on Sunday, but it is doing serious harm to the mental well-being of those who hear that message. If you truly believe what you preach, then you would not mind providing some evidence to back it up. If you have none, keep your message to yourselves and stop trying to convince people they are guilty of anything that happened before they were born or before they were of an age where they could comprehend right and wrong.

7 thoughts on “Our Need For A Savior

  1. Yes … but … er … what evidence would convince you that sin is real? Ergo, God is real?

    (if you have the urge to ding me about the ear’ole, remember, that would be the Christian /em>thing to do, and you left that club already … so there!)
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. I have left that club behind. And by club, I mean both a group and a weapon. I was once part of a club that used a blunt instrument (Bible) to beat people over the head with in order to knock some sense into them. When it didn’t work, I’d walk away with my head up high, knowing I tried my best. I convinced myself that some people are just too far gone.

      What evidence would convince me that sin is real or God is real? You know what I’m looking for. It’s the same as what you are looking for. But for anyone reading who is a believer who uses this question over and over again and wants to know, I will answer it. It’s good to remind them of what a useless and stupid question it is. What would convince me? Actual evidence. Something that more than one person can observe and investigate. Something existing outside of one’s heart (by heart, of course I mean brain) and something overwhelmingly obvious. First of all, a god would need to be demonstrated. Any god. A generic god, if you will. A deity of some kind. After we have found concrete evidence of a deity, then and only then, can we try to apply any sort of specifics to it.

      So, to be clear, we do not get to jump the gun and say God is Yahweh, his son was Jesus or any of that. None of the biblical stories get to be preached as fact until evidence is presented, confirming their veracity. If we can first prove a god exists, then you can make your claim about its attributes, stories about it and whether or not something such as sin could exist. If not, you might want to consider gathering such evidence first (if any exists) and then trying to convince others of your beliefs. Doing things in the proper order is usually the best course of action.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve heard this question posed to young people. If there was a pond on your property, and the beloved family dog was drowning as well as a total stranger…Who would you save if you only had the time and one choice to save the stranger or your own dog??

        What do you say, Ben and Ark?

        Like

  2. These people are so corrupt they even get their own scripture wrong. Regarding “Romans 5:12, it is said ‘Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned'” Death did not come into the world because of since. Adam and Eve were not immortal creations. Adam and Eve were in fact, evicted from the Garden of Eden specifically because they could not be trusted to eat from the Tree of Life and *become* immortal. It says so right there in Genesis, the words coming from Yahweh’s own mouth.

    The wages of sin is death is not true and never has been in that religion. According to them, we all have immortal souls. The only thing under debate is the living conditions after death.

    Plus, the book of Genesis is from the Hebrew Bible. It was written by Jews. Almost all Jewish scholars clearly state now that that book was never historical nor was it intended to be historical. They will tell you it is fictional, written to provide a back story for their people, a story with theological messages, not historical ones. So, why are evangelical protestants and other Christians arguing from the viewpoint it was actual history.

    If it was not actual history, there was no disobedience, and there was no original sin, and hence no need of a savior. Hey, I didn’t say it, the Jewish scholars did.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. How would I answer this question: What evidence would convince me that sin is real or God is real? I long ago dismissed the idea that “God” –any god– exists, so obviously, the question is moot.

    Liked by 1 person

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