This does a fair job of summing up the worst of the problems with the famous John 3:16. I’m sure I could think of a couple of more if I put my mind to it. Somewhere in the mind of a Christian, these words hold a special power. I have NEVER been able to see beyond the elementary logical flaws.
I’ve felt the same way
Addressing the first point in this post: God giving up His one and only Son was a sacrifice. If God just made any Son He wanted to there would be no meaning in it. What power could the crucifixion hold if the one who got nailed to a cross was just some guy that God created. It would have no meaning and no power. God wanted us to know that He loves us so much He let His Son (which is also Himself since they’re One) take on disgusting, humble human flesh.
Okay, I’m going to respond to this seriously. I am NOT trying to be deliberately obtuse or sarcastic here (although my incredulousness may occasionally appear sarcastic). I’m really trying to respond to your ideas by pointing out problems that I immediately notice. I am in no way trying to insult you.
So, the argument is that God only created one son so we would appreciate that son more. I’m irresistibly drawn the to the comparison of a pastry chef who could make dozens of wonderful cakes but who only chooses to make one and then throws it away and then expects us to laud him for his sacrifice of the cake. This argument really doesn’t create any feeling of sympathy for the pastry chef within me, just as God only choosing to create one son does not create any sympathy with God when he could create an infinite number.
Another parallel…a weight lifter who can bench press a ton but only chooses to bench press five pounds, which he deliberately drops on his foot so we’ll feel sorry for him. The logic just doesn’t work for me.
Also, God did not make Jesus. Jesus already existed. Although before he came to earth He was called the Word. He always was the Word though and still is. The Word if part of the Trinity and the Trinity is One. Jesus/the Word was preexistent so God didn’t just create Him.
Yes, the essence of the trinity. Jesus, who is God, pre-existed before the sacrifice. God, who is Jesus, existed during the sacrifice and while his Jesus aspect was dead (I HAVE to assume that despite Jesus and God being one that the God aspect did not die on the cross). Jesus, who is God, existed again after the resurrection 36 hours later.
Jesus spent perhaps an hour or so being beaten and then spent six hours on the cross. Yeah, that would suck. But he’s been lounging up in Heaven for the last 2000 years and is super wise and emotionally strong and stuff so I’m betting he’s mostly over it by now.
So, essentially, we have an eternal being who had a bad 2 days. Eternal = Infinity. Infinity - 2 days = Infinity. While I hate the idea of anyone suffering, suffering for 2 days for the sake of saving all of humanity and then spending the rest of eternity in paradise seems like a real good deal to me, and one that I, personally, would take in a heartbeat. Again, I’m not really drawn to sympathy for God/Jesus over this, as I simply can’t make myself see it as any kind of sacrifice to begin with. At worst…AT WORST…God was without his son for a day and a half.
Furthermore, Jesus’s sole purpose was not to redeem us. Like I stated before the Word was preexistent so He wasn’t /created/ for that one purpose. It was His primary purpose just like we all have primary purposes. Before and after he ascended back into heaven He sat at the right hand of God. In Scripture it teaches that when we are being judged by God Jesus defends us. When Satan comes forth to God to try and convince Him that we belong in Hell Christ defends us and gives us yet another chance. Christ also has the job of preparing an afterlife for us.
So, God, who is Jesus, is judging us, and Jesus, who is God, is defending us. I really can’t see how we can get past God defending us from himself and gave birth to himself to sacrifice himself so that he can save humanity from himself. If you say that God is Jesus and Jesus is God and both are perfect, well, I know that the above sounds silly, but I seriously can’t see a way around it.
Incidentally, preparation by something that is infinitely powerful would take approximately 0 seconds, or perhaps 5.4 x 10^-44 seconds if God/Jesus is subject to the restrictions of Planck time. I would have to guess that preparation is not a major thing on Jesus/God’s daily to-do list.
And the last point: The point of God creating life/humans was so we could grow closer to Him. If God just handed us eternal life what would be the point of living? There would be none.
Aaannd…then what was the point of the whole fruit thing to begin with? According to Genesis God DID just hand us eternal life at the start! By what you just said, Adam and Eve’s existence before they ate of the tree was pointless!
By this argument, the actions of the serpent (aka the devil by the thinking of most Christians) was the one thing that gave our life purpose, and this was the one thing that God expressly told us NOT to do, so it would then seem clear that he thus did NOT want our lives, therefore, to have purpose.
He kicked them out because He wanted to be with them. He very well could have left them in there to live by themselves but He didn’t. God didn’t want to be separated from them so He knew He had to kick them out. God is always reaching out to us and all He wants is to be close to us.
Honestly, if God wants to be close to humanity, I would say that the easiest way for him to do so is to simply demonstrate his existence. And I’m not talking about beautiful sunsets here. I’m talking about the dude manifesting in some way, walking/floating into my office (or preferably everyone’s office at once), announcing that he is God and doing something reasonable awesome to prove it (I’ll leave the details to him), stating a desire for closeness, and then repeating the performance from time to time under the understanding that people are forgetful and need reinforcement. Even though this would still not constitute absolute proof, I’m a reasonable guy. I’d settle.
What do we have instead? He seems to be relying on an ambiguous 2000 year old, contradiction ridden book with a minimum of 36,000 interpretations (the number or Christian denominations), where the principle character makes a brief appearance in an uneducated backwater part of the world and isn’t even written about until 30 years after his supposed death? Well, seriously, I think that God could make a LITTLE more effort than that if he wants us to get close to him.
These are just a very, very small part of the problems I have with the fundamentals of Christianity. No offence is intended, and apologists have addressed virtually everything I’ve said here (not at all convincingly to me, I must add). The very core and concept of the story makes no sense to me.
If a god exists, and he wants me to know him, I’m sure he can find a way.
Long but great read.