This is re: the either/or of a blog I read which posits if Jesus is God and the only way to the Father, then only Christians can be saved. Or vice versa that orthodox Christianity must be wrong. Why? Please see for example Nostra Aetate. You don’t get much more orthodox than the church that calls itself The Church and “the Church” formally declared after the horrors of the Holocaust that non Christians can certainly be saved. Obviously, not everyone got the memo.
Why does it logically follow that if Jesus is God we have to be Christian or to have ever heard of Jesus to be saved?
I once had a series of interesting conversations with someone who believed among other things that the King James version of the Bible is the only inspired English version. All others are wrong. (A surprising number of people believe this in fact.) This person also believed somewhat paradoxically that you had to call Jesus (the Latinized and modernized version) Yeshua in order to “believe in the name” and be saved. People who call him Jesus are all going to hell. (I still like to keep a mental list of some of the funnier reasons people have told me I’m going to hell, and that is up there.)
Very few of us would be quite so trite about it, but in my not so humble opinion we can still be pretty trite. As in the Gospel of John, it is believing in God the true God that is the issue. If you read John chapter 1 closely, those who know God also know Jesus. Not necessarily vice versa. He clarifies who God is, but its not like God was in hiding before that. Its not like knowing how to pronounce his name will do you much good. Even demons do that.
It is to me contrary to the essence of the Gospel if we even start to think Jesus cares how we pronounce his name. Or this or that legalistic twaddle. He cares if we know and believe in him. That is why people of all faiths and none can be saved.
Ultimately Jesus’s divinity or lack thereof is not as important as why we do or do not believe in him, if given a fair shot. Now as ever there are plenty of false gods, religions, and ideologies out there. An unfortunate number of those even come with the Jesus brand.
Just wanted to add my two cents. And also having a rough time with the idol of man-made dogma this week. So this is healing to say. My former church has some good things and that document is one of them. This is important to me though. To refute that false dichotomy.
4 thoughts on “The Divinity of Jesus”
I studied at seminary (have a degree to prove it…lol). Jesus stated very clearly that he was NOT God, and I am sure would be appalled at what “Christianity” has done to his teachings. The “Bible” is not what we think we know..it has been changed drastically over the centuries to reflect the dogma and thoughts of the times..once in the second century, twice in the third, then the various translations have all had a say in what goes in there. Did you know, for example, that Mary Magdalene was as far from a “whore’ as a woman could get? She was the wife of John the Baptist, wealthy in her own right and funded her “cousin”‘s ministry for the three years he preached. She was turned into a whore during the sixth century as an “example” in order to begin removing the influence of nuns on the general populace. “true” Christianity or following what Jesus taught is in actuality a combination of Buddhism and Torah. He would thoroughly freak if he could see what we have done to his words.
LOL. Same here. I know, Jesus’s divinity is an interesting subject in itself. I was thinking more of the link between his divinity and salvation/soteriology. I do believe Jesus is divine and God, but that is a long, long story. I agree completely that believing in Jesus *as God* has been way overblown. Yeah, I know about Mary Magdalene and the anti-feminist trajectory of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s like 90% of the reason I recently left the church in disgust and I am done with this. That’s interesting about Christianity as a cross between Buddhism and Torah. My grandparents on my mom’s side were Zen Buddhist. And I still feel some affinity with that faith. This all feels like an interesting discussion waiting to be had. I’d disagree with but am also interested in the Buddhism/Christianity crossover on several levels. Have you ever read Thich Nhat Hahn? You raise so many interesting points in one comment! Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. Would love to talk on any of those subjects further if you like. Otherwise, yep, almost entirely on the same page on all of that. With some minor, perhaps fun points of disagreement though. Have a great day Suze!
what a lovely person you are, and I am so glad I happened upon this post. will happily babble..but later on. have to feed chickens and water the garden..or we won’t eat this summer! lol
Aw. Not babbling at all. Hope the chores all went well!