Saturday, January 05, 2019

A World Without Jesus

... wouldn't be all that much fun.

I went to Mass and then spent some time in Adoration last night and started wondering what the world would be like without Jesus. Years ago, I read a book that suggested that Jesus made the infinite God finite and more comprehendible. That is, for the Jews, God was this massive, all-encompassing, all-powerful force. It's pretty hard to relate to that. Jesus, as God made man, gives us a Person who we can imitate and in whom we can find human love, compassion and friendship.

And forgiveness.

I think that's the biggest part - forgiveness. By dying for our sins, Jesus takes away an oppressive mountain of guilt and shame as well as all of the pathologies that go along with it. Consider three alternatives to Christianity - Islam, Buddhism and the Secular Left.

In Islam, you have to atone for your sins yourself. There's no Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, as we say in Mass, there's only you and your family. I don't know about you, but my sins are pretty large and plentiful. Atoning for them is going to be a Herculean task, so if I were Muslim, I'd be taking a hard line with myself and my family. That last thing I need is a child of mine adding to that mountain of guilt. Disobey Allah by sleeping around, for example, and you're going to get the back of my hand or worse. Hence, honor killings and sacrificing animals on the appropriate days. Anything to appease the wrath of the Big Guy.

With Buddhism, if you commit enough sins, you might as well give up and wait for death. Nirvana - the complete extinction of your existence and an end to your practically endless string of reincarnations - isn't going to happen at the end of this life. When the scoreboard gets too lopsided, you punt on the whole thing and await the next turn of the wheel. Oh goody, another life rooting for the San Diego Padres. Talk about suffering!

The Secular Left solves this problem by doing away with the concept of sin entirely. As the prophet Barack Obama (peace be upon him) said, "Sin is being out of alignment with my values." Unless you're some kind of masochist, your values are the things that drive your behaviors, so you're almost never out of alignment with them. No sin for you! With the Secular Left, there's nothing to confess or atone for, unless you pivoted too slowly to the Party's latest positions on Global Warming Climate Change and pedophilia. For them, all sins are political sins and voting for progressives absolves you of those.

There's another aspect to a world without Jesus. What happens over time as the Secular Left's memory fades and they feel less and less of the cultural momentum of Christianity? With no sins save for political apostasy, what do you get?

I think we have our answer.

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