“The Folly of Christianity and Blood Atonement”- J. Adam Snyder
While I do believe in the teachings of Jesus, which are purely benevolent, I do not believe in the blood atonement or original sin. The very notion of a so-called “loving” god demanding the violent sacrifice and murder of an innocent man to appease justice is not a deity that is worthy of being worshiped or praised in any sense of the word. This isn’t taking into account the absolute tyrannical brutality of the god of the Old Testament who commanded his followers to rape women and dash their infants in half with their swords upon the rocks (Hosea 13-16) and to punish the disobedient among their own family members by engaging in cannibalism against them (Deuteronomy 28:53-57). No sane, honest person can defend such savagery. Anyone who attempts to do so has committed both mental and ethical suicide.
Furthermore, the idea of “original sin” is an entirely asinine concept. Not only does it not appear anywhere in the original Hebrew texts (hence why Jews do not believe in it, nor Satan or Hell for that matter), but the notion that one is automatically at fault for something their ancestors did is as inequitable as it is ludicrous. No doubt it was a dogmatic invention by men to control others through the implementation of false guilt.
What was the great “sin” of Adam and Eve in Genesis? Eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Intellect, free thought, becoming self-aware. All traits that the deity in Eden despised, hence why he would later destroy the peaceful and prosperous city of Babel; because mankind was making progress. Clearly the enemy in the Old Testament isn’t the Serpent, but YHWH himself. Interestingly enough, the word Lucifer is merely the Latin word for “Light” and the Morning Star (Venus). When Jesus stated that he was the Light, He was literally stating that he was Lucifer. It is therefore impossible to reconcile the violent deity of the Old Testament with the loving God that Jesus spoke of in the New Testament.
While I don’t agree with every Gnostic teaching (and they do vary tremendously), I do find Gnosticism as a whole to be the most consistent Biblical theology. Gnosticism explains the brutality of the “god” in the Old Testament (demiurge), the esoteric meaning of Light, it reconciles virtually every faith, and successfully explains the evil and broken state of the world. According to Gnostic theology, it is through spiritual Illumination that we are able to break free from the cycle of physical death and physical rebirth in this plane of existence and live among the true God of love in the higher planes.
This is similar to the spiritual teachings found in Hinduism of achieving Nirvana, Buddhism of achieving Enlightenment, and authentic Christianity of receiving the Holy Spirit (hence why Christ stated, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you”). I therefore see Jesus as a Spiritual Teacher and one of several physical manifestations of the Divine who came into our realm of existence in order to lead mankind back to The Light. The same as Krishna and the Buddha, whose lives and core message was the same.
After all, it was Paul who stated that he became all things to all people. It is small-minded to assume that God didn’t do the same via the other faiths. The same core message, the same divine beings, only situated to different groups of people at different times. The many faiths are therefore akin to spiritual languages: one faith does not have a monopoly on truth, salvation, or wisdom. They’re all bearing the same light, just through different lamps.
©-J. Adam Snyder