8 comments on “Good Friday?

  1. Indeed gone are those wasted days of celebrating funny days. If God is there, fine. if man sinned and he forgave man by sending and ‘sacrificing’ his olnly son Jesus, then why do we need to pray to him to forgive us? by the way someone who cant mind about the life of his son, how do you expect to get mercy from that same person if indeed u have sinned? any how im living a stress free life in Uganda.

    • Joseph, I have to agree, many days are wasted by celebrating funny things. But it’s only wasted if it has no meaning to you. I wouldn’t expect you to celebrate my child’s birthday. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you celebrated your own. If you only know about Christmas and Easter because they appear on a calendar, then you should not celebrate them in the first place. Besides, the dates are arbitrary. There’s nothing in the Bible to suggest Jesus was born in December. It’s well known that the date was imposed by the church to replace the celebrations that were already established by other religions of the time. In regards to your other questions though, no offense, but I think you have a very choppy understanding of Christianity. That’s not your fault though. The purpose for the “sacrifice” is not exactly obvious if all you’ve ever heard is the Easter Story. You would need more of a general overview of the whole bible from start to finish (just like any book) in order for it to make sense. I don’t think this is something you are interested in pursuing right now anyway, so I wont waste your time with explanations. But if curiosity gets the better of you, there’s a short (and very cheap) book that I recommended to AtheistMom. Its not “preachy” but I found it to be very easy to relate to. I think it would answer your questions without requiring that you first believe in something. You can find the details in my post below. :)

  2. Believe it or not, I can fully relate to this post. I grew up Catholic and the traditions were “fun” but looking back, they never meant anything to me as a child. I recently read a little booklet that I think makes more sense of the Crucifixion, while explaining it’s relevance to the entire story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It’s nothing fancy, and a very quick read. And regardless of your beliefs, it at least serves to make sense of the type of question that Joseph posted above. It’s called “Surprised by Love” and it’s written by Elizabeth Talbot. (it’s available on amazon for $3 for Kindle).

    You are raising your daughter to be a very rational thinker. I applaud that. But If she was ever was curious about what the bible says, how would you reply? Clearly it is a very influential and very ancient book. It is a noteworthy piece of history, especially since this Country was founded on several of its beliefs. So how would you answer? Would you form her opinion for her, or give her the story in a nutshell. If you are interested in the story in a nutshell approach, I recommend the booklet. It’s a quick read and very non-confrontational. It literally just tells the main story line without harping on the Gospel or anything like that. I don’t even think it talks about repentance and accepting Christ. But I read it rather quickly so I could be wrong. Either way, it’s purpose is not to get you to Believe in God.

    I want to raise my kids to be rational thinkers too. If they come to believe in God and the Bible, it’s not going to be because I’ve told them they have to. In fact, my son (age 6) asked me about what baptism means, and I explained it. But I also told him its not something he needs to do right now. I told him he should wait till he’s older and really understands the significance and not just do it because someone tells him its the next step or because he thinks it will make someone happy. I mean, do you marry a person simply because its the next step after dating them? No. You need to first understand what marriage means.

    I think the Bible is a noteworthy book. And while I don’t expect everyone to actually read it, I think it would be good for people to at least have an accurate understanding of the story, from start to finish, before discussing its relevance. In the same vein, I’m reading Darwin’s Origin of the Species because it is also very noteworthy, both scientifically and historically. When my child asks more about evolution, I will be using it to explain the core findings and observations that prompted the modern study of this branch of biology. Yes, I know it “contradicts” what the bible says about creation. But that doesn’t mean I get to label it as evil. I realize that my beliefs will have some impact on my children so I can’t claim that my kids’ beliefs will be completely free from influence. But you can’t make the same claim either. All we can do is represent the information as best we can, and allow them room to grow and make up their own minds. :)

    Keep up the good work. I do enjoy your blog, even if we share different beliefs. Here’s to “New Beginnings!” :)

  3. Ps. Mormons do have very different doctrinal beliefs. You husband might be able to shed more light on this, but from what I understand, the atonement of Christ is not central to “salvation” in the same sense that it is for other Christian denominations. I actually had this conversation with a Mormon friend of mine the other day. She even said “I think the main confusion is our different interpretation of the term “saved.” The LDS church doesn’t really consider that trusting in Jesus how you get to heaven. In fact, they don’t really believe anyone is condemned to Hell for not accepting Christ in their lifetime. Being reunited with their Heavenly Father is a matter of obedience to the laws and ordinances (baptism, for example, is a big one). For Christians, baptism is a symbol (much like a wedding ring symbolizes marriage but it doesn’t actually have any legal power to marry you). But for the LDS church, baptism is a requirement for gaining access to the highest degree of heaven which is where God dwells. Non-believers (even the most avid atheist) would spend eternity in the first level. But, the glory of the Telestial Kingdom still “surpasses all understanding” so there’s really nothing to worry about. Their beliefs are based more on the revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith than on the Bible. Similarly, Islam is based on revelation given to the Prophet Muhummed. Both share a heavy focus on “obedience” in order to attain the highest level of Heaven. But obedience is not what Christianity relies on. It is faith in God, and nothing else. Whether you examine the Old Testament or the New Testament, the people that were considered “Righteous” were the one that exercised faith in God. This does not equate to “rituals” though. The Pharasies were all about rituals, but Jesus called them hypocrites, and rightly so. How many church going Christians do you know that are hypocrites? Probably 99% of them. How many Catholic Priests have been part of a sex scandal? Even 1 is too many. Rituals are not the answer. Good deeds to make up for bad deeds is not the answer. Obedience is not the answer. But unfortunately, this is exactly what Religion has led many people. They are biblical “half truths” that have led to confusion and a lot of division within the Church. And a half-true is no better than a whole lie.

    Can you tell I enjoy theology? It’s probably why I find your blog so fascinating. Even a belief in No God is still a belief. :)

  4. You wrote that you were shocked at how the Mormons didn’t celebrate Easter. I think you mean you were surprised at how what they did celebrated it less than Catholics? But when I first read it, I read the line as ‘Mormons don’t celebrate this holiday.’ I grew up Mormon but have a Mormon side and a Catholic side in my family. I remember noticing that Easter was more of an event holiday (like Thanksgiving) with my Catholic side, but as Mormons we celebrated it like anyone (Easter basket, bunny, egg hunt, ham, etc. at home, plus hymns, teachings, lessons, about “He is risen” at chuch). I think the difference comes largely from the fact that Mormons are obsessed with adhering to their meeting schedules. Church is Sundays. Firesides are Sunday evenings. Conference is all weekend twice a year. Young men/young women is weekly on Wednesdays (or whatever). Catholics have midnight mass on Christmas Eve and a mass on Christmas day no matter what day of the week they fall on, but Mormons do all their Christmasy stuff in church on the Sunday closest to the 25th; they would never go to church on the 25th if it were a Thursday. I think it’s just about that. Good Friday? Why would they go to church on a Friday?

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