The Divinity of Jesus

I am not a Christian. I don’t believe that I am guilty of sins, or that I need to be saved from hell. I don’t believe that Jesus was the unique incarnation of a monotheist god. And I don’t even necessarily think that Jesus was a great moral philosopher. I utterly reject the notion that Christianity is the One True Religion of the One True God, but I explicitly acknowledge the divinity of Jesus and the truth to be found in Christianity.

In the most basic sense, I have no reason not to acknowledge Jesus’s godhood. I believe in the deification of mortals. I believe Aeschylus, Herakles and Jim Morrison are gods, and there’s certainly not a limited number of spaces at the banquet table of gods that exist. Probably billions of people over a space of two thousand years have fervently believed in the divinity of Jesus. Why should I doubt them? What would motivate me to rule out one deified mortal and not another?

But more than that, I believe there is divine truth to be found specifically in Christianity. No question. And that’s not just me saying “yeah, yeah, there is divine truth everywhere so why not in Christianity too,” I’m saying that I believe that Christianity in particular speaks of the divine in ways that are important, compelling and sublime.

I believe Jesus was born, that Jesus was killed, and that Jesus lives again. The mysteries of Jesus teach us that God is real, that good overcomes evil, that God is always with us, and that death is not the end. We can argue the fundamentals of theology all day long, but those things are truths that are ready to be revealed to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Too many religions and traditions have taught us these exact same things for us not to think there is something to them.

So on the night that his birth is celebrated—and its no accident that it is celebrated not on anything resembling the actual date of his birth, but close to the Winter Solstice, a thin time of the year when darkness gathers and then finally gives way to the light of the sun—I say Hail Lord Jesus! Hail Emmanuel! Hail the Lamb, hail Savior, hail Son of David and Stem of Jesse! Hail the Newborn King! Hail, and Merry Christmas.

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About Kullervo

Thirtysomething Christian, husband, father and lawyer; interested in the Bible, country music, southern lit, guitars, gardening, beer, running, nature, rock and roll, wargaming, southern food, Calvinism, the Crusades, the Protesant Reformation and the Civil War.
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6 Responses to The Divinity of Jesus

  1. Whitney says:

    I love this. Thank you, Merry Christmas, and Amen.

  2. Katie L says:

    Kullervo, this is beautiful! Thank you!!!!

    Just one thing:

    I don’t believe that I am guilty of sins,

    Explain.

  3. Kullervo says:

    Evil and sin are not the same thing.

    If you are guilty of an evil deed, you are accountable for the evil of the thing itself. But sin means violating God’s norms. I believe I am accountable for the evil that I do because those deeds are inherently evil, but I do not believe that I am accountable for the sake of breaking a rule.

    The thing that makes me guilty is the wrongness of the deed, not the fact that the deed broke a deity’s rule. I disbelieve in deities that set out rules for behavior and punish you for breaking them.

  4. BrianJ says:

    “I disbelieve in deities that set out rules for behavior and punish you for breaking them.”

    Funny, so do I. Although certainly I say that with more caveats than you.

    I’ve been thinking of sin more along the lines of how you present evil: a sin is a sin because it is evil, not because it’s on some list. This way of viewing sin makes more sense to me in light of the atonement/baptism/etc.

    I see God making rules that he believes will keep us from doing evil—much like the rules I give my children. And when my kids break the rules, I’m not upset because they broke the rules, I’m disappointed because I worry about the consequences they will suffer.

  5. Kullervo says:

    So while I think that is a reasonable and good approach, I do not think it is consistent with the Bible or with Mormonism. The arcane ins and outs of the Law of Moses were sins because they were against God’s Law, not because they were necessarily evil.

    And take the word of wisdom, for example: drinking wine is most definitely sinful (regardless of the text of the D&C, the modern Church leadership has made it incredibly clear that th word of wisdom is a commandment), but its hard to make a case for it being evil.

  6. BrianJ says:

    I just make the distinction at God’s level; i.e., what does he see as evil and not just against the rules? Or, to put it in sort of cartoonish terms, what will he actually hold against me during final judgment? (I really don’t think of the judgment that way, but it illustrates my thinking…maybe.) I don’t see him caring about what a person drank or ate (which is thoroughly supported by the NT) or their beard, etc. I do see him caring about a person’s unwillingness to put aside self for the sake of ritual, community, etc. It’s about intent: why would I, as a Mormon, be willing to drink wine, or why would a Jew be willing to shave his beard?

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