The handiwork of people

WEDNESDAY, 22 MAY 2013

It is indeed intimidating to stand in front of the majestic edifice that is the Christian religion, to clear your throat and to declare that this religion is, in your humble opinion, the handiwork of humans, developed and refined over more than two thousand years by thousands of thinkers and theologians, priests and popes, monks and pastors, and by regular believers.

It is also very difficult when your own parents believe the Christian religion to hold the universal truth of the One and Only God Almighty. It is difficult if you have come to believe the exact opposite, but you do not want to upset your parents. What makes it an especially sensitive subject is that they find great solace and comfort in this system of beliefs.

THURSDAY, 23 MAY 2013

An important question to ask regarding the Christian religion is this: Why did Jesus have to die?

The answer you get will mostly be about a blood payment culture prevalent in the Middle East two to three thousand years ago.

What will usually not make much of an impression is if you point out that it is somewhat strange that a god that is supposed to be universal, who according to church doctrines had existed for billions of years before any human being came up with the first sparkle of culture, custom or civilization, would allow his own son – according to some theological viewpoints, himself – to be tortured and murdered, because a custom prevalent at a particular time and place dictated so.

If too few confessing believers ask such questions, it may be because questions of this kind are actively discouraged. Religious people are often reminded of the painful and everlasting punishment that will befall them if they fail to believe in the right way – that they will certainly not escape the “wrath of God” if they ask questions that insult him.

Another question that will not be appreciated: Where does culture of particular time and place end, and where begins what is supposed to be timeless truth?

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