May I ask the following two questions:
What problem does Christianity hold to have been
solved by the Incarnation?
In the faith that was followed by Jesus, Mary and Joseph:
-God forgave sin
-the “gates” of heaven [World to Come] were already “open”
-no concept of Original Sin existed
-there was a place in the World to Come for the “righteous
of all nations.”
I’ve often see Roman Catholics fulminating against Luther etc.
for departing from the truth and starting his own church, after
1500 years of basically one faith.
Does no one ask the question:
Christianity set aside Judaism…in fact
it was a new religion, not just a “spun off” church.
It claimed a New Covenant, setting aside a Covenant
that had been made 2500 years earlier.
Before the ministry of Jesus, a religion with
a *3500 *year history! taught people:
-who God was
-who they were
-what was expected of them
-where they were headed [the World to Come.]
-how sin was forgiven
So I ask myself:
a group comes along, claims special revelation, sets aside
a 2500 year covenant, claims a stain [original sin] needed
to be erased, and that their group has “fulfilled” the original
faith. They talk of “opening” gates that weren’t closed to
begin with, being saved, [when the original faith says we
are saved] and then complains about Luther.
The answers given are that Jesus was God and Messiah
and that He rose from the dead.
I’m beginning to think that Christianity offers a solution to
a problem that didn’t/doesn’t exist. Sin was forgiven,
the gates to the World to Come were open, so what
exactly are we being saved* from*?
Saul tells me Original Sin.
The Sages of Israel acknowledged no such reality.
The result? People tied up in knots over whether and how
they are saved. [faith/works.] The fate of unbaptized babies.
Emphasis on the afterlife=“life is a pilgrimage”. Abstention
from marriage seen as a greater good, when called to such. [Which flies in the face of Judaism’s emphasis on God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply.”]
My own assessment is that the Christian faith flourished
among the Gentiles, because they would not be in a
position to pose the questions Judaism would ask about
the new faith.
The fact that this new faith was considered apostasy by the
original faith, is brushed aside by claims of the divinity of
the Messiah and the further testimony that that Messiah rose
from the dead.
I ask a final time: What problem was solved?