Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Jesus forgives sins against God

Forgiving a person who has done nothing wrong is using forgiveness as a weapon to make them feel they have done wrong.  You may use the same technique by forgiving something minor as if it were a major sin.  It is about bullying and control.  If Jesus was forgiving people as if he were the god they hurt or forgiving on behalf of God that is a novel way to carry out that bullying. If you love God with all your heart then it follows that when you forgive another you have to also forgive how the one you love being mocked and hurt by sin affects you.  If you love God that much then whoever hurts God hurts you.

The Jews complained that Jesus forgave sins and asked who is this man who forgives sins was.

Some argue that since the Jews said that Jesus could not forgive sins for only God could do that and Jesus said he would perform a healing to show that he had the authority to and did not contradict them it means that he must have agreed with them that only God forgives and he had the power to pardon because he was God (Mark 2:7). But he only said he had the authority which could mean that he agreed with them that only God could forgive but God had given him the authority to do it for him. Mark says some praised God for giving his power to men. This praise only makes sense if an ordinary man gets the power and it makes no sense if the man has it because he is God for then they would be praising God for becoming man. You do not praise a king for having a crown but you may praise the person who gives him the chance to own one by making one for him.

What Jesus may have meant by forgive was not removing the manís sins for that was Godís job but if you cancel the punishment of somebody you have already forgiven, that is forgiveness too, in a sense. Jesus forgave the man by making him walk. He had already told the man before he made him walk that he was forgiven and he was accused of forgiving sins but he had only announced that the man had been forgiven by God. Then he objected to their assertion that he could not forgive sins and decided to prove it by removing the punishment there and then instead of letting the man get better the slower and natural way.

The Metaphor of God Incarnate states that Jesus did not forgive sins but proclaimed forgiveness like the Jewish priests did (page 32). When a man brought a sin offering and the priest offered it the priest afterwards told the man his sin was forgiven. Jews objected to this probably just out of spite rather than any genuine belief that Jesus was doing what man couldnít do. Or perhaps they were complaining because Jesus wasnít a priest.

Was Jesus claiming to be a priest?  Not necessarily.

It is hard to believe that somebody going about proclaiming sins forgiven would have been praised by the people so much.  They would have seen him as a weirdo.