The Christian Concept
That is pretty much the gist of it. Some Christians may argue that there is more to it than that, but if you read the Gospels, you'll see that is all there is to it.
From the very beginning, God's divine plan ran into some major problems. After creating the Heavens and the Earth, God created man and placed him in a garden. God gave man a companion, a female, so that man would not be lonely. God told man that he could eat the fruit from all the trees in the garden, except for one, the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good an evil. God told man that if he ate from this tree, then the man would surely die. The female that was given to the man is tempted by a serpent to eat from the tree. The female then tells the man to eat from the tree. Disobeying God's direct order, the man eats from the tree which he was told not to eat from. This is the original sin. The man blames the female, the female blames the serpent...But no one blames God for sticking the tree there in the first place.
Problem 1. If God didn't want man to eat from this particular tree, then why put it there? This is the equivalent of a parent placing a child in a playroom with some toys and a loaded gun. The parent tells the child that he can play with all the toys in the room, but not to play with the gun. The parent tells the child that if he plays with the gun, he could kill himself. What sane parent would do that?
Problem 2. God is supposed to be perfect. If God is perfect, then man should have been created perfect. Christians argue that man was created perfect, but after sinning against God, man became imperfect. But if man was created perfect, then he should have made a perfect decision, a perfect choice. Man's perfection would have prevented him from sinning against God. Christians argue that man was given freewill, and man was able to use this freewill to sin against God. Still, regardless of man's freewill, he would have use his freewill to make the perfect choice if he were created perfect.
Problem 3. God is supposed to be omniscient, meaning that God knows everything. God would have had foreknowledge that man was going to disobey him; that his "perfect" divine plan was going to start in utter failure. Christians argue that although God knew man was going to sin against him, he was not the cause of man's disobedience. So, if a parent puts a loaded gun in a child's playroom, knowing very well that the child may shoot them self, even kill them self, the parent isn't to be held accountable? You can't blame the parent, because the parent told the child not to play with the gun.
Moving on. Because of original sin, the world becomes corrupted and evil; full of sin. After many years, God regrets greatly that he created mankind on Earth. How can one be regretful of something that they knew was going to happen? What does God do to fix this problem? He decides to flood the world, to wash away the sin and corruption. Not only was mankind corrupted, but so was the entire planet. This could be the considered the first baptism. There was only one family, totaling eight people, which God felt was righteous, so God felt that it was justified that this family be spared. God commands the patriarch of this family to build a giant boat and to gather samples of every species of animal on the Earth to be placed on it. The man does as God commands, and afterward, God brings Hell and high water. This wipes out every living thing on the planet, including, supposedly, the sin and corruption that man spread throughout the Earth. After many months of the Earth being washed and scrubbed clean, God feels it is safe enough for the family and the animals that were gathered to come out of the boat and start a new. What God failed to realize, was that because the entire Earth was tainted with sin and corruption before the flood, the people, although considered righteous, were also tainted; so were all the animals that were spared. So when they came off the boat, they just filthied up the place again.
Problem 4. What in the hell was that all about? How did God let it get that far? He had a divine plan for crying out loud. He could have nipped this thing in the bud from the moment man committed the original sin. Wasn't he paying attention? All he had to do was send down his son; had him nailed to one of those trees in the garden, die, and then come back to life 3 days later. I imagine it going something like this...
God: Oh, great; I didn't see that coming. Jesus! Front and center!
Jesus: Yes, Father?
God: Jesus, listen, remember me telling you that you will have to go down to endure some pain and suffering to save mankind from sin?
Jesus: Yes, Father, I remember. But that is not for a while yet, right?
God: Well, there's been a change of plans. You see, I made a serious error in judgment when I created man; I gave him free will. Now he has used his free will to commit a serious crime...
Jesus: You don't mean...
God: Yes, my son, man has sinned against us.
Jesus: Oh no!
God: Listen, there is no time to lose. We have to hurry and get you down there pronto. This thing is spreading like wild fire. Once it breaches the boundaries of the garden, it will be too late, and I'll have to take some drastic measures to remedy the situation.
Jesus: I understand, Father. I want to do this. I want to save man from sin and Hell.
God: Oh my beloved son. I love the world so much...It does my heart good to know that you are willing to do this for man's sake. When you go down, you will have to be nailed to a tree; let's see...I've got it! You can be nailed to the Tree of Life. I placed it in the garden for man to have eternal life, but it's going to have to serve him in a different manner now. The Tree of Life has special properties, and it will help you to become resurrected three days after you die.
Jesus: Oh. Umm...ahh...You mean I have to die?
God: Yes my son. Remember, we talked about this. Besides, it's only for a little while. You're not going to be dead forever. You don't have to give up your life for good.
Jesus: Is it going to hurt, Father?
God: Oh, it's going to hurt like a sombitch! But that's the price that has to be paid if this plan is going to work. Because of man's sin, thorns and thistles have begun to grow in the garden. Boy, those things took off when man bit into that fruit! Anyway, I'll see to it that the man who I placed in the garden takes some of those thorns and thistles and beats you with them before he hangs you on the Tree of Life. There is going to be a lot of blood. But that blood is necessary to cleanse the sin in the garden before it gets outside the confines. Are you sure you still want to do this? I could just send a great big flood...
Jesus: Yes, Father, I want to do this. Besides, I know that you will be with me. You will be with me, right, Father?
God: Of course my son; I'm always with you. Remember, you and I are the same. You are the human part of me. And that human part has to suffer if mankind is to be saved. Now go my son; you have to hurry. I'll be here waiting for you when you return.
Jesus: Bye, Father! I love you! Please don't forsake me!
See how simple that could have been? Man could have been asking for repentance from the get go. But no. God lets it get out of hand to the point where he thinks the best thing to do is just start all over by washing sin off the face of the planet with a giant flood. Well that didn't work, did it?
Problem 5. Again, God's is supposed to be omniscient; he knew this was coming. How did he become so grieved and repentant when he knew exactly what was going to happen? He could have saved himself a whole lot of pain and suffering by not putting that tree in the garden.
Problem 6. How could such an omnipotent, omniscient, perfect being create such a blunder? Nothing is going right for this guy. You would think that such a being, with this sort of power, could do a much better job than this.
Let's fast forward now. Roughly four and a half thousand years after the creation; sin, wickedness, evil and corruption was running rampant throughout the world. During that time, God destroyed hundreds of cities and millions of people, innocent and non-innocent alike; using militaries, fire and brimstone, plagues, floods...Nothing was working. The world had become too tainted and spoiled because of original sin. Since sin apparently cannot be eradicated, God figured the best thing for everyone was to just forgive people of their sins. But, he just couldn't wipe everyone's slate clean.
Remember, God is a just god. You just can't forgive someone of wrongdoing; that's not justice. There has to be a price to pay. A parent just wouldn't forgive a child for spilling milk; there are some serious consequences to pay for such an act. Really? Because a price has to be paid, and some blood must be shed, God sends his son, Jesus, down to earth to make the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus, under his own freewill, will go through extreme pain and suffering; even death, in order to save man from sin. After dying by crucifixion, Jesus is resurrected from the grave and ascends into heaven to begin forgiving man's sins, but only if one asks for it. Now then, there are all kinds of problems with this little scenario.
Problem 7. Why did God wait over 4,000 years to put this plan into motion? As I said before, wouldn't it have been much easier to have sent his son down immediately after the problem had started in the Garden of Eden?
Problem 8. Why did there have to be a blood sacrifice? Why did there have to be a sacrifice at all? With God, all things are supposed to be possible. It should have been possible for God to simply wipe sin off the face of the planet with just a wave of his hand. Or, God could have just forgiven everyone, with no blood shed...It's called a pardon. Governors and presidents do it all the time, and no one has to die over it. Granted, some people have had to spend time in prison before being given a pardon, but many have never had to spend so much as a day in jail. The pen is mightier than the sword.
Problem 9. If Jesus had to die and be resurrected to save man from their sins, how was he able to forgive sins before being nailed to the cross? There were many people in the gospels who had their sins forgiven by Jesus during his ministry. Apparently these people were able to be forgiven without one drop of blood being spilled. One of the thieves that was crucified with Jesus even had his sins forgiven. Jesus hadn't given up the ghost yet, but he promises this thief that he would be in paradise that day.
Problem 10. If the pain, suffering, torment and death that Jesus endured is the punishment that man deserves for his sins, then why don't people who have gone through MORE pain, suffering, torment, and then death get eternal life by default. There are millions of people who have undergone a lot worse than what Jesus is said to have gone through; much, much more worse. The torment that Jesus is said to have gone through, which he did freely by the way, was like a slap on the wrist compared to what many people have had to endure. Besides that, after they died, they didn't get to come back to life 3 days later.
Problem 11. Just what did Jesus sacrifice anyway? He was tortured, beaten, spit upon, nailed to a cross, and then died a few hours later. If one does some research on crucifixions, they will find that people usually hung on a cross for days before they died, not hours. So the pain and suffering Jesus endured on the cross was nothing compared to what most people who were crucified had to go through. After Jesus died, he is said to have been buried in a cave, and then three days later, was brought back to life. So again, what did he sacrifice? When you give up your life as a sacrifice, you give it up forever, you're not supposed to get it back. Seems to me that he was merely inconvenienced for a few days.
Problem 12. Christians claim that Jesus was free of sin. If Jesus had sinned, then he didn't die for man's sins, he would have died for his own. How could Jesus not be a sinner? He was supposedly born in the same world that was saturated with sin. As soon as he shot out of the womb, he would have been engulfed in the same sin that man is said to have brought upon the world. Many people live good, moral, sinless lives; the same type of good, moral, sinless life that Jesus is said to have lived. But because these people were born on a world enshroud by sin, they are sinners by default. It doesn't matter that they didn't commit actual sins throughout their lives. This problem was seen by the Catholic Church, so the church claimed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, "was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace"; (Immaculate Conception, Wikipedia). If God can do this for Mary, then why couldn't he have done this for everyone? Why couldn't he have done this for Eve, so that when she gave birth, her offspring would have been free of sin.
The whole concept of Christianity is absurd and ludicrous. This so called "divine plan" of God's was a disaster from the beginning. However, Christians see it as the most perfect and well thought out plan imaginable. If anyone on this planet, theist or atheist, had the powers that God's is said to have, they could come up with a much better plan then this.
© 2009 Derrick Miller