Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Christ's crucifixion only matters because of His resurrection

The statement seems obvious -- Christ's resurrection is central to Christianity -- but it seems downplayed nowadays.

People love the imagery of the crucifixion. Christ suffering on the cross, persecuted, a victim of betrayal and cruelty and crowd anger. Not coincidentally, the crucifixion is not very controversial.

The resurrection is.

Partly it's because humans can relate to the crucifixion. We can relate to suffering. The resurrection? Metaphors aside, that's not a human thing. It's a God thing. Or at least a supernatural thing.

Partly it's precisely because the resurrection is central to Christianity, so that's the one thing that's going to be attacked, rejected and mocked. Maybe on par with the virgin birth.

Christians, not wanting to give offense, and perhaps liking the idea that non-believing people may find at least something positive in Christ, often cut their losses. Why spoil people's admiration for the crucifixion by bringing up what followed it? They can just... learn that on their own time.

It's a bit like "love your neighbor as yourself", one of the favorite Bible quotes for atheists, particularly when they can deploy it against a Christian who upset them in some ways. Putting aside the misinterpretation of that line, the preceding and superior rule -- Love God with all of your mind, heart, and soul -- gets comparatively little talk. 

Even by Christians.

After all, people adore the love-your-neighbor line. And it's nice to have people say something nice about the Bible, even if it's in a backhanded way. The importance of loving God will ruin that -- and worse, it exposes a glaring deficiency that will be present in all non-theistic worldviews.

Again, as I keep harping on lately -- I don't mind the atheist abuses of all this so much. I mind the willingness of Christians to give up their own faith, of avoiding the more difficult aspects of it. Of letting seculars and non-Christian dictate their own faith to them.

Hardly a point to a faith like that, which is easy to see unless you're of the mindset which can airbrush out the resurrection and still see a god worth paying attention to in the gospels.

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