The problem with Jesus' divinity

I love bashing Christianity. Not because I don't think Christians are generally nice, normal people, but because any close scrutiny of the Christian doctrine reveals it to be a hodgepodge of some of the most ridiculously stupid ideas anyone's ever conjured up. So since it's Sunday today, I thought I'd bash, mock, and criticize the completely inane Christian idea that Jesus is God.

Christians are monotheists. But they're a sort of strange kind of monotheists, because they believe in a "triune" god that has three incarnations – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Clearly if you do not already know this, you probably wouldn't be reading this blog. But the idea of Jesus being both God and being separate from God poses a litany of logical problems, particularly in light of scriptures.

We have to ask what it is that defines an individual. I mean, if God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are truly one, they are essentially the religious version of the Borg. Individuality, to me, seems best defined by autonomy. I have my own will, my own thoughts, my own desires, and they are different from yours. Some people like to talk about everyone being "one" in some wishy-washy new age kind of way, but on close examination that kind of blathering is pretty meaningless. We're not "one". We have shared needs and interests of course, but we're still just a collection of individuals with unique desires, struggles, and ambitions. So if Jesus and God are really "one", they should, like the Borg in Star Trek, have a single autonomous will. However, scripture seems to indicate that this is not the case.

The first and most obvious indication is that Jesus frequently prays to God. If Jesus and God are one, then Jesus already knows God's will, because God's will is his will. So what is the point of Jesus praying?  The temptation in the desert makes even less sense: Satan ostensibly tempts Jesus with "all the kingdoms of the earth". But in Luke 4:6, Satan says "it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish." Um... handed over by whom? One would presume that God, being all-powerful, is the only one who could give Satan dominion over anything. So this is like saying God gave Satan dominion over the earth so he (God) could tempt himself.

There are lots and lots of scriptures that seem to suggest that the whole idea of Jesus' divinity was added to the religion over time, rather than being one of those indispensable foundational ideas. Here are a few to pick your brain over:
And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. [Mark 10:18]

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, " ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" [Matthew 27:46]

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. [John 5:30]

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."  [Matthew 26:39]
That last verse is especially revealing, and damning. Jesus clearly indicates that he has an autonomous will that is distinct from God's.

Christians have their ways of rationalizing these things. I've seen all kinds of scriptural hoop-jumping, but there's certainly no ubiquitously accepted explanation for these verses. The last recourse that Christians offer up is the idea that even though it doesn't make any damn sense, it's still true. Somehow, in a way beyond our mortal comprehension, this all makes perfect sense. Jesus and God are one, but Jesus can pray to God, sacrifice himself to God, and have his own distinct will from God. That's basically just a way of admitting that you'll believe anything you want because it makes you feel good. Which, the more one examines Christianity, is just about the only rationalization that holds up anyway.

Comments

  1. The Mormons have an answer for this one BTW. They ditch the whole "monotheism" bit outright. In Mormon doctrine the trinity is made up of three distinct separate beings, two of which have physical bodies and as such up up "there" literally rubbing elbows as we speak.

    This is indicative of one of the strengths of the church. everyone else is forced to continue to try to reconcile these two irreconcilable collections, the Old and New Testaments. Joseph Smith said, Those are scripture, sure, but they are corrupt. Here is something pure. Enter the Book of Mormon, a book full of almost zero substance but plenty of ambiguity and then Smith goes about receiving revelations that employ many of the popular concepts of the time that had been developed over the centuries of time humanity struggled trying to make the scriptures "work".

    That's not saying the doctrines of the LDS church are any less vulnerable to inconsistencies and gigantic failings, just that there is a lot of strategic benefit to 'modern revelation'

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