Differing Christologies

I was raised in a Southern Baptist household and grandfather, the Baptist minister, made certain that we did not fall into the “papist fallacy”, i.e. that Jesus was NOT God. He was the Son of God as he claimed and NOT God-incarnate as the Catholics professed. That was the primary difference between the Catholic faith and the Protestant religions: the true dispensation of Jesus’ beingness.

Today, there seems to be a lot of gray entering into this area. It appears that a variety of fundamentalist and evangelical groups have reverted to the “papist fallacy”. I can hear it in the Christian music on our local station. There are as many songs about Jesus as the Son of God as there are about Jesus being God.

Truthfully, there is nothing wrong with either viewpoint and people can choose to believe whatever they want, whatever appeals to them, whatever brings them the greatest comfort.

Beyond believing whatever you prefer, I think the message He delivered becomes lessened in thinking that He was one and the same with God. Sure He could be so perfect because He was God.

I think His story takes on a completely different light if He were human in all respects and endured all the travails without the benefit of being completely Divine. Somehow, knowing He was going to be back up in heaven in an instant gives the crucifixion story a little tarnish. So, what was the great sacrifice if He was God Himself?

And why would He pray to Himself? And why didn’t the Lord’s Prayer read: “Me, who art in heaven, hallowed be My Name. My Kingdom come, My Will be done…” etc.

And why would Jesus constantly talk about the people needing to get closer to the Father? Why not simply say “get closer to me”?

And why the sidestepping the issue when asked if He were the Son of God? His usual reply was “No, I am the Son of Man”. Modern Christians seem to think “Son of Man” means “Son of God” but that seems to lack credence. If He was God, why not say so?

In fact, if He was the Son of God, why not simply say that rather than quibble over the finer points of whose son He actually was?

But, like I said, people are free to believe whatever they want. They can believe He was God, the Son of God, or an itinerant cable-repairman… Whatever works for you.

I think, more important than who are what He was, the message was far more important. The message was more important to Him even than His own life.

And the message? It was quite simple and was said over and over in scripture… And it really had nothing to do with building churches, fighting wars, or getting active in politics. None of that mattered to Him.

Oh, and the things He said about not being able to get to the Father but through Him? Really, that was added later. He never said any such thing.

How do I know? Simple: it was added in later because it is unsupported by what he said elsewhere and the actions He took. In fact, I believe that everything in the scriptures that make the Church look good were additions.

Why would Jesus want to establish a church when He had already (and repeatedly!) said “the kingdom of God lies within you” and “your body is the temple”. Doesn’t sound like He was setting up the foundations for a church, despite the yap about Peter being the rock on which he was founding the yada-yada-yada…

And the two main tenets of His teaching came down to two “commandments”:

First, put God first in your life and thoughts, and

Second, love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Simple. Sweet. Short and to the point.

Nothing about communion, confession, tithing, or doing penance for your transgressions.

Nothing about building the richest organization on the planet.

Nothing about murdering people around the world for centuries to force them into a belief-system.

And, you’ll notice, He said nothing about putting Himself first.

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