Part 6: Back to Basics iv.
Featuring: Anthony Norris III and Steven Lot
Norris: Look, we don’t have to go into all this philosophical human “wisdom” about freewill. We just know what God’s Word says on the subject. Jehovah cannot forgive sin without a blood sacrifice. Adam was a perfect man when he sinned, so God needed a perfect man to sacrifice his life in order to balance the scales of justice. None of Adam’s offspring fit the bill, having inherited imperfection and sin. So, Jehovah lovingly provided his own son, Jesus, as a perfect sinless man for the sacrifice.
That’s the Truth. You can accept it or reject it, as you see fit.
Socrates: Oh, but I’ve read in the Bible where Jehovah did forgive sin without the shedding of blood.
In fact, Jehovah even forgave King Ahab’s sin: cancelling his death sentence, just because the king donned sackcloth! [If only Adam and the woman had sackcloth available instead of just fig-leafs, they might still be alive, and we might be enjoying paradise today!]
Since forgiveness was granted in all of those instances, why not forgive these original innocents: Adam and Eve, without requiring the shedding of Jesus’ blood?
But I see that you’re getting upset at my slowness. I want you to know that I appreciate you taking the time to explain it all to me in step-by-step detail so I can have a chance to comprehend it.
So, may I ask you another question?
Lot: Yes, we welcome questions. [With less of a smile this time, and even that disappears when he sees the exasperated look Norris gives him.]
Socrates: Earlier you said that Jehovah’s son was born of a woman. You also said that all of Adam’s descendants inherited sin and imperfection. So, why didn’t Jehovah’s son inherit these things too?
Lot: Jehovah fathered him.
Socrates: Okay, we won’t go into the details of that lurid story!
If an earthly woman gave birth to him, half of Jesus’ DNA would be from his earthly mother: contaminated with sin and imperfection (unless you buy into the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, in which case you’ll still have to explain how someone was born sinless from a descendant of Adam and Eve, only in this case Mary rather than Jesus.)
Norris: We don’t believe in the immaculate conception of Mary; that’s more rubbish from Babylon the Great.
We don’t know the exact details of the virgin birth of Jesus; we accept on faith that he was born as a perfect sinless man.
Socrates: Just like one of the Catholic’s “mysteries” that make no sense, but are required to be believed “on faith.”
Norris: Yes; Satan’s organization imitates God’s organization in order to fool people.
Socrates: I’d say they do a pretty good job; it’s often hard to see the difference between them.
But were Adam and Jesus really balancing that scale?
Jesus knew good from evil; Adam did not when he sinned.
You say that Adam would’ve lived forever if he hadn’t sinned. So, Adam was immortal when he sinned. Jesus obviously was not immortal, or he couldn’t have been killed.
Adam was originally sinless, yet Jesus would’ve inherited sin from his mother, if we believe the “inherited sin” doctrine you’re requiring as the basis for all of this. And, if Jehovah could cause him to be born sinless, then why couldn’t he do the same for each one of us?
And if you claim that sinlessness equals perfection, which equals immortality, then how could a sinless Jesus die?
Norris: Stop with all the questions! These are just nit-picking details! Adam wasn’t immortal; he had the prospect of immortality, to be earned through obedience.
All we need to know is that in every respect that mattered to the divine law, Jesus’ life balanced out Adam’s.
Socrates: So God sentenced both men to death: Adam and Jesus. Not to mention Eve and every human being who has ever lived. Does the punishment really fit the crime?
Does even lowly human justice sentence anyone other than the perpetrator of a crime? No, it is satisfied, in the case of capital punishment with one life. Does it ever even allow a surrogate to serve the sentence? Of course not; where would be the justice in that?
You claim that Adam’s sin is visited upon all of his descendants. Yet your Bible states that the son will not pay for the sin of the father.
Norris: Again, let me remind you that we have presented you with the Truth from God’s Word. Jesus paid the ransom sacrifice for us. You can accept that gift, and benefit from it, or reject it to your detriment.
Socrates: Understood. And I’d love to accept the gift, but I’m afraid I cannot assent to something that I cannot understand, and I cannot understand something that makes no sense.
You say that the price has been paid. So, Jehovah’s plan can now go into effect; the obstacles to its fulfillment having been removed. So, why don’t we now live forever on a paradise earth?
Norris: The Ransom currently benefits only the anointed; everyone else has to wait for the millennium. In the meantime they must associate with the remnant of the anointed still on earth if they have any chance of riding our coattails into the new order.
Socrates: The plot thickens.
Who is this “anointed,” and why do they come into the picture now, at this late date?
Norris: [Proudly] You have two of the anointed sitting in front of you today. Jehovah chose 144,000 of us to serve as kings and priests: co-rulers with Jesus. As part of the Christ, we will assist Jesus in killing all who don’t accept his rulership, and we will rule with Jesus from heaven over the earth during the millennium.
Socrates: I’m having trouble seeing how this fits in with the “original plan” of humans living forever on earth, exercising their freewill. Now you say they will be “ruled over” by murderous people, from heaven. And the ransom sacrifice still isn’t enough to put things right; we need to associate with the anointed now as well!
Norris: It’s another loving provision from Jehovah, which we are privileged to share in.
Socrates: You claim that Jehovah’s son, Jesus, created everything in the universe.
Lot: That’s correct: Jehovah created the universe through Jesus: his first creation.
Socrates: Yet he needs help ruling over the people on one planet out of the billions he created; so much so that the original plan had to be amended to include a new provision for sending some humans to heaven in order to help him out! And, in fact, you say that his sacrifice applies primarily to them.
Norris: These are the deep things of God, of which we don’t presume to know all the answers. We accept them on faith.
Socrates: Ah yes: still more mysteries, and more “faith” required to swallow the nonsense. Where’s the logic that you claimed your religion was based upon?
But I must thank you, gentlemen; the few answers that you were able to give have helped guide me into an informed decision regarding the veracity of your “truth.”
I have learned that Jehovah loves us, so he let an evil being tempt the first humans before they knew right from wrong. I learned that he couldn’t guide us along the right path without interfering with our freewill (which he interfered with later, whenever he wanted.) I learned that instead of banning Satan from the garden in the first place, he drove the first humans out of paradise. He sentenced all of us to death for something our ancestors did (all the while claiming that a son won’t pay the consequences of a father’s sin.)
Then he couldn’t figure a way out of the mess he’d created except by having his son murdered (even though he could’ve just let Adam and Eve eat from the tree of life, and forgiven them without the shedding of blood, as the Bible records him doing many times.) And even though his son hadn’t needed any help in creating the universe, Jehovah used the benefit of his murder to supply his son with 144,000 people to help him murder the vast majority of humankind, and then help him rule over the survivors who must surrender their freewill and simply obey whatever the “anointed” tell them, without judging for themselves whether it is good or bad!
Norris: Yes, and that’s something you need to start practicing right now: obeying the remnant of the 144,000 still on earth today.
Lot: Yup, that’d be us!
Socrates: So, in the end, if we want to escape a death sentence, we have to give up our freewill because Jehovah couldn’t bring himself to interfere with our freewill in this one particular instance.
Thank you, gentlemen. But please count me out!
I choose freedom!
See also: You Can’t Live Forever in Paradise on Earth.