Yesterday a street preacher approached and questioned me, so I responded. Then I asked my aggressor for permission to publish our exchange on my blog; and Ronald said that he would allow it, provided that I do not list his name.
PREACHER: Why did you leave the faith?
ME: It’s hard to talk about this kind of stuff, because terms like “faith” mean different things to different people. By the way, your question is as presumptuous as if I were to ask you: Why haven’t you left your cult? I don’t think that I have “left the faith” – I only rejected one particular group, one viewpoint among many: the church. And even its adherents’ ways aren’t so different from the way that I think, act, and believe. After all, I am supposedly human.
PREACHER: All right, then let me put it this way: Have you abandoned the idea that Jesus is the son of God, who paid with his innocent life that we may be reconciled to Him?
ME: Yes, that’s an idea that I abandoned. I don’t believe that Jesus is the ONLY offspring of divinity; I don’t believe that Jesus was “innocent” any more than the rest of humankind is innocent. And I don’t think anyone needs to be “reconciled to God.”
ME: First, regarding Jesus being “the son of God”: if any being is a child of God, then ALL beings are children of God; so Jesus is not exclusive in this respect. And regarding whether he “paid with his innocent life that we may be reconciled”: I think that this kind of payment is not at all necessary; it’s a mistaken view: there’s no need for adding, subtracting, zeroing out, balancing – just live, and keep trying to harmonize with whoever affronts you. By the way, I admire Jesus as much as I admire Blake, Whitman, Duchamp, etc. . . . And my view is that IF reconciliation MUST be attained, then simple forgiveness attains it – there’s no need for the bloodshed of sacrifice.
PREACHER: It is then your belief that blood payment for sinful fallen flesh is not necessary?
ME: Again, I don’t think that all flesh is “sinful” or “fallen,” but, yes, I’ll stick to what I just said: The bloodshed of sacrifice is a sham.
PREACHER: Then what does the Creator of the Universe require? How does He reconcile sinful man unto Him, who is perfect?
ME: I don’t think that there is a “Creator of the Universe” who is distinct from the truest part of ourselves. Neither do I think that humans are necessarily “sinful,” nor that God is of the male sex, nor that “He” is altogether perfect – however, provided that your deity is not malevolent (which is questionable, to say the least), and assuming that this monstrosity actually wants us to be reconciled with “Him,” I’ll repeat yet again what I said above: Forgiveness should be our primary spiritual goal.
PREACHER: Then how can we enter into His throne room, after this life?
ME: I think that any notion of a “throne room, after this life” is a metaphor, so the way to “enter into it” is to forgive your enemies and abstain from judging them.
PREACHER: Hmm, thanks for offering your views to me, Sir.
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