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Understanding the Atonement

Posted 09-12-2021 at 08:42 PM by MysticPhD


I make no claim to a perfect understanding, but I have evinced a rational explanation of what Jesus represents and what He achieved that is internally consistent and compatible with the Christian narrative. Of course, it needs to be reinterpreted using the revealed character of God (Holy Spirit) as demonstrated by Jesus Christ as depicted on the Cross. It represents decades of effort and is my best understanding of what is and has been inscrutable for millennia.

My view removes the primitive and barbaric interpretation made by our ignorant ancient ancestors who mistakenly believed in a wrathful and vengeful God who needed to be appeased by blood sacrifices to forgive us for "whatever." Their sacrifice interpretation is rooted deep in our primitive past as far back as Noah. But its retention is the result of the schoolmaster stage our species had to evolve through to tame their savagery and get to where we are today. During that stage, God was depicted as a wrathful and vengeful War God who would eternally punish us for disobedience so our savage ancestors knew no other God.

The atonement Jesus achieved has nothing to do with atoning for anything. There were no sins that need to be paid for by bribing God with a bloody sacrifice so He can forgive us. Our task as children of God is to reproduce His Holy Spirit of agape love. The purpose of doing that is to grow and mature our human spirit (consciousness) into At-One-Ment with God's agape love upon our death and rebirth as Spirit. Jesus did precisely that for us because we were unable to achieve the necessary perfection. He perfected agape love in His human consciousness (spirit) and connected our collective human consciousness to God.

His death on the Cross exemplified His perfection. When He died His human consciousness was "born again" as Spirit (as ours will be) permanently connecting all human consciousness to God. That is how He abides with us in the collective human consciousness as the Comforter (Holy Spirit) to guide us all to the Truth God has "written in our hearts." That is how Jesus saved us and how He is the Way to God, Truth, and Life.

In sum, we were failing miserably at reproducing God's agape love and forgiveness. We were focused on obedience to laws and weren't even trying. Eventually, we had evolved enough intergenrational self-control during the schoolmaster stage that we were ready to learn the actual purpose of that control - agape love of God and each other. As jesus later reported, the "fields were ripe for the harvest" to promote the use of self-control motivated not by fear of God but by His agape love and forgiveness.

We as Christians herald the birth of Jesus when God sent His Holy Spirit to be born as a human so that He could develop His Human consciousness under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit to achieve the necessary connection (Identity) with God's Holy Spirit of agape love within His human consciousness which none of us could ever perfectly achieve. Our failures to perfectly obey the laws made obvious our inability to achieve such perfection.

To fully appreciate this version of the Gospel without all the wrathful nonsense, we need to understand what our species has had to contend with to reach this level of understanding of God. This requires a different understanding of the Bible fables and stories in the context of our actual circumstances here on earth. It is the Bible that misrepresents God and His motives as the result of wrath and anger at our disobedience and sinfulness, which considering our ignorance is preposterous. It also explains the necessity for such an unambiguous demonstration of God's agape love and forgiveness of our ignorance (not knowing what we did) by Jesus on the Cross.

Clearly, the environment within which our spiritual maturation must occur is contrary to the caring agape love goal. It is totally barbaric and uncaring - literally "red in tooth and claw." That presents myriad opportunities for a bunch of sins (missing the goal of agape love) that would need to be corrected and many that should be kept from ever happening at all. The source of this sin (missing the mark of agape love) and our failure to love is our ignorance, immaturity, and our spirit's partner in crime which is our indiscriminate reptilian brain.

It is our reptilian animal brain that is the source of all our drives and it is programmed from birth to protect our survival, seek what is pleasurable and avoid what is painful or threatening to our survival. When I say it is indiscriminate in its functioning, I mean completely without any other consideration beyond its programmed goals - survival-protecting, pleasure-seeking, and pain avoidance.

As stated, our Spirit's goal is to reproduce God's agape love and attain a spiritual character that is compatible with God's Holy Spirit and achieve it in an environment that is, to say the least, not remotely compatible with that goal. On further reflection, though, it is perfect for incurring those situations and circumstances that would evoke the very states of mind associated with agape love in those spirits who are maturing properly. Unfortunately, it happens seemingly at the expense of the victims of those evoking circumstances.

Our species' situation from its creation and inception has had two separate tracks to trod. Our species had to evolve over time intergenerational self-control over our reptilian partner and acquire the knowledge of our goal of agape love so we could discriminate among our drives to avoid those victimizing situations above. This is what necessitated the schoolmaster stage under Moses.

The second track is intra-generational in that each individual within each generation has to mature from scratch and learn all the above from its parents and others. To say we have done a lousy job on both tracks would be an extreme understatement! The primary reason for this utterly miserable performance has been our lack of any reliable source of information about why we exist and what our goal actually is, the assertions of Bible infallibility notwithstanding.

The fables and stories chronicled in the Bible reflect our species' long road to learning the lessons necessary to achieve our reason for existence. Eden was our first lesson in discriminating among the drives and desires our animal bodies generate - literally the knowledge of Good and Evil. Our misunderstanding and misinterpretation of God during this evolution have contributed to our current difficulties in understanding. It has been an uphill evolutionary battle exacerbated by our perverse human flaws, failings, vanity, hubris, and ignorance in our myriad efforts to understand God.
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