Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Waxing philosophical this morning

Funny the rabbit trails your mind will go down early in the morning after a half-cup of coffee. As I sit at my computer doing genealogy, of all things, I stumble upon a gravesite for one of my ancestors that gets me waxing philosophical, theological, even.

She was buried in an Oregon memorial park in the "Garden of Atonement."

Interesting concept that atoning for one's sins.

As I was taught, growing up in the Catholic Church, we were all born with the "mark of Adam," the stain of "original sin" upon us. That means, each and everyone of us, fresh from our mother's womb, drawing our first breath of air, was utterly doomed to failure...and eternal damnation, by the way.

What kind of bogus poker hand is that to be dealt?

The Catholics are to blame for this nonsense, you know. Now, most of the Christian worldview has been shaped by this idea that we are all born with a fatal, spiritual flaw. Innocent babies, my ass! We are wired with a penchant for evil.

This might cause one to call, "Foul!" Throw the penalty flag. Question everything he/she knows about God.

Where's the justice in that? The love? The forgiveness, even?

Ah, forgiveness...that's the rub. The "mark of Adam" with which we are ALL cursed spurred the Creator to action. He devised a master plan in which He would become the scapegoat (ala, the ram in the thicket from the story of Abraham and Isaac). Brilliant or psychotic? You decide.

The Supreme Being, Creator of all that is, devised a way out of our mortal conundrum, but it, in effect, involved His own death, a sort of deicide (it's a word, look it up).

The next thing I was taught, after learning of my one-way-ticket-do-not-pass-go entrance into Hades, is that Jesus, the one displayed in gory fashion upon a crucifix in every classroom and church I attended until middle school, was, in fact, God. He came to (drumroll please) ATONE for my sins and make everything right in my hereafter world. WHEW! That was a close call.

That was the best He could come up with...committing suicide for the fatal flaw that I was born with. Dare I say, created with? He couldn't conceive of ANY OTHER WAY but to spill His own blood?

So, to recap, I was created with or born into this world with a mortal flaw for which I was unable to help myself. The Draconian punishment for it--be I baby or old man--was eternal damnation in a lake of fire. And the ONLY way to get out of that dire, eternal consequence was for God to come down and kill Himself (i.e. His Son). And I am to believe that this Guy created galaxies yet unknown?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fear seems to be the element of motivation for any large entity that wants your submission to their will, I think at the moment. I find that religion has utilized this with ignorance as a manipulation for the wealthy and the church through history. I don't think death much bothers God as it would us, if you are to ponder his being.

Martin Luther broke from the Catholic church with a defiant insistence that we, as individuals, could talk to God as much as a priest or higher ranking official. I do believe it was their behavior that was in question at the time as well. The monopoly on God was broken. It evolved into other ecumenical organizations which then evolved their religions to much of the same purpose.

We are constantly scared into a proper behavior and sense of servitude. The leadership of whom we serve seems to lead to a double standard of purpose, living and laws. We seem to like it that way, or we might start thinking for ourselves. Do we want to get it right? Do we ponder whose right we are trying to get?

I find that the more I come to know myself and the more I try to know God, vs. religion, the better a person I become. The more I can do without fear of getting it wrong, and more acceptance of my behaviors when I do get it wrong. Forgiveness, purpose, action and love seem to make the most sense to me of this as I grow. And if I am to ponder my weaknesses and failures for too long, they can immobilize me. An unfounded belief in a man can do so too. A belief in a God can cause me to move forward.