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Tuesday, October 22, 2019¶
I feel like a bull in a china shop who has been told to never ever step into a given room because that would be the end of the world, and who now opened the door despite the prohibition. Yesterday I wrote a new article Let’s review our creeds about Jesus’s deity.
Here is how that idea started.
On Saturday morning I wrote a post on Reddit where I asked:
Why must Christians say that Jesus is God?
Can’t I just say that i believe in Jesus and his teachings about God, that his model and its consequences in society suits me, that i want to align and orientate my life to this model? I have the feeling that the idea of raising Jesus to a throne next to God was a bad one. He didn’t want that. Jesus taught that all humans should see themselves and their fellows as sons and daughters of God. He never claimed to be “more” son of God than other people. Being Christian means for me that i believe in a fatherlike God who has a Good News for us if we care to listen, and that there is no “absolute religion”, no Holy Scripture that we can fully rely upon. The Bible is important because it is the only source we have about Jesus’ teachings. It helps us to develop and train our faith. But it is not a book of absolute laws or definitive formulations. Every culture must find its own new words for that love story. Bible idolatry is opposite to what Jesus taught. Don’t expect me to react to your comments. I am tired of discussing with Bible fetishists.
A friend, Samuel, to whom I spoke about my problem, tried to help me with the following quote (found on azquotes.com):
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.
—C. S. Lewis
Yes, if that is true, then I am not a Christian! Lewis’s reasoning only confirms the problem because I clearly don’t agree with him.
At least I am not the only one to have a problem with this text. I asked Google and found the Wikipedia article about Lewis’s Trilemma. Yes, that’s reassuring: Craig Blomberg wrote already in 1987: “Lewis’s trilemma depends on the veracity of the scriptural accounts of Jesus’s statements and actions. This omits the possibility of those accounts instead being an invention of the early Christian movement, seeking to glorify Jesus.”
Side note : I hadn’t heard nor read this text before. Although most of my friends probably agree that I am a well-educated Roman-Catholic Christian, actively practicing in both Catholic and Lutheran church, and rather interested in such topics.
Yesterday my article ended with a note that “it’s probably not me who is going to convince them. I am not a fighter. Writing these thoughts here in my blog is enough to calm me down until my next encounter with an angel.” Today I changed that into a prayer:
Dear Father in Heaven,
I see that the statement “Jesus is God” is a major problem for most other religions regarding Christianity. I see that so many of my friends fail to hear the Good News because that statement is a major obstacle for them.
I don’t see why this statement is so important for the Good News. I don’t believe that you would refuse your love to so many humans who perceive this statement as offensive or an obstacle.
I pray for the leaders of all Christian churches and communities. Help them to realize that you want us to abolish a series of statements regarding the deity of Jesus that have become obsolete, useless and misleading.
Help us to realize that some of our traditional texts need a review. Give us the courage to stand up and recognize this need. Give us the resources and support for developing a solution.
But all those thoughts got mostly void on Monday, November 4, 2019.