The microscopic world is so mysterious. We can’t see it with our eyes, but we know it’s there because we can see the results. Take atoms for instance. We can’t see them with our eyes; we can’t even see them with optical microscopes, and if we try hard enough and split them apart in, say, the Hadron collider, we only see evidence of particles in statistical calculations. Now consider the Corona-19 Virus. To the naked eye and optical microscope, it’s invisible, but its results are obvious.
And sin is mysterious. Where does it come from? What is it made of? We can’t see sin within a person even with a microscope. We don’t even know where to look in the brain if we were to look–possibly the frontal lobe? But we can clearly see the results.
What are the consequences of sin? How would we calculate that number? We might add 6-11 million deaths for the holocaust and add 2-million more for Cambodia’s Pol Pot genocide, but where would we stop? How many wars have there been throughout the ages; how many men, women, and children have died from wounds, starvation, and disease caused by someone’s over-reaching pride and arrogance? What are the consequences of mankind’s basic selfishness, unrestrained egos, and pride? Sin accounts for many more deaths on planet earth than Covid-19.
If we tunnel in to analyze the origin of sin, like a tunneling electron microscope looking at a virus’ structure, we find that our need for self-preservation and selfishness is the result of believing a lie, actually many lies about God. Our heavenly Father has been accused of not caring for you and me, his family, and we believe it. He has been accused of lying, holding us back, and worse yet, actually waiting for us to mess up so he can punish us. What a horrible distortion.
The truth is, God has demonstrated that he does care, he does love you and me, he is big enough to take care of each of us, so we don’t need to live in the survival of the fittest world all around us. Knowing God is for us and not against us, brings peace of mind. Everything will work out in the end. Give God another chance. If you are not convinced God loves you, read my book, Why did Jesus have to die? You will be glad you did!
Why did Jesus have to die? in Spanish
¿Cómo es Dios realmente? En la Conrad revela un Dios magreligión, como en la ciencia, ¡necesitamos saber la verdad! ¿Qué fue lo que inició la guerra en el cielo? ¿Le importo a Dios? ¿Realmente la fe es lo único que necesitamos para nuestra salvación? ¿Por qué tuvo que morir Jesús? Esta audaz revisión se aproxima a estas preguntas espirituales vitales desde una perspectiva bíblica sólida, inspiradora y fresca.
nífico que prefiere que nos consideremos sus amigos confiables en lugar de servirle como sirvientes – un Dios preocupado, que quiere que estemos dispuestos a hacerle incluso las preguntas más difíciles y personales. Él describe una gran controversia en la que Dios fue acusado por Satán de mentir, y muestra cómo Dios ha demostrado su honestidad. Se enfoca en la pregunta de por qué tuvo que morir Jesús y nos ofrece una explicación sorprendente, clara y razonable. Nos habla de un Dios lleno de gracia que nos ama más que a la vida y nos prepara para tiempos difíciles que están por venir.
Este no es un libro ordinario sobre la religión. La «furia» de Dios: castigo o consecuencias naturales nos ofrece una perspectiva novedosa sobre preguntas antiguas y difíciles: ¿por qué los judíos del primer siglo rechazaron a Cristo a pesar de que estaban esperando al Mesías? ¿Por qué Jesús no ha regresado si prometió que lo haría en breve? ¿Por qué Dios impuso tantas reglas, cuando podríamos resumir todo el carácter de la ley en una única palabra: amor? ¿Cuál es la ley principal que nos acercará a Cristo? Y – la pregunta más importante – ¿por qué tuvo que morir Jesús?
A través de su emocionante e imperiosa narrativa, en esta nueva mirada al plan de la salvación se hace una revisión de la historia bíblica desde la perspectiva de la Gran Controversia, una guerra que se desató en el cielo por el carácter y autoridad de Dios, después de que Satán lo acusara de ser arbitrario, rígido, implacable y severo, y de haber mentido al decir que la muerte era la consecuencia natural del pecado.
Yes, Jesus had to die, but not for the reason Christians have traditionally been led to believe, according to this insightful theology book.
Geologist Conrad leads an expedition through key events in the Old Testament to show that God pointed to his plan for the world’s salvation from the beginning of time. Often, Christians are taught that Jesus died to pay the penalty for human sin that began in the Garden of Eden, but the author says it’s misguided to focus on the disobedience that resulted in sin. “[S]in isn’t just an action; it begins in the mind with a corrupt concept of what God is like,” he writes. Adam and Eve breached God’s trust, and it was this lack of trust in a good God, not the disobedience itself, that was the problem, Conrad believes.
It’s not mere theological hairsplitting, and he makes the case that God wants to preserve rather than limit our freedom. Conrad credits Dr. Graham Maxwell as the source of many of the ideas contained in the book and calls his view of why Jesus died the Great Controversy-Demonstration Model, which he uses to present Jesus’ death as the greatest example of the lengths to which God will go to demonstrate how much he loves the world and desires a relationship with everyone in it.
Conrad says it’s important to understand that God isn’t “an executioner.” The Romans, he believes, were kinder and more compassionate than the Jews, who followed God. “Is it any wonder that today the secular and non-churched can be nicer people than those who go to church and have a harsh picture of God?” he asks. It’s a great question. Despite occasional typos, the writing is intelligent and accessible, and some complex theology is explained well. Several examples of the Great Controversy-Demonstration Model are dry reading, but the book would still be ideal for discussion in a Sunday school class or Bible study. Fresh thoughts about a question the world never tires of asking.
George Bush (GW) famously said, “Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” And like most people, GW’s justice is more like vengeance, and shouldn’t be confused with Biblical justice. Bush’s definition sprouts from Roman roots; Biblical justice flows from how God deals with righting the wrong, healing the hurt, or fixing the problem.
Consider these Bible verses.
17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:17-19 New King James Version (NKJV).
16 “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin.
17 “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge. 18 But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing.
Deuteronomy 24:16-18 (NKJV)
18 ‘Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.’
“And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
19 ‘Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.’
“And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Deuteronomy 27:18-20 (NKJV)
3 The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. 4 He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will [a]break in pieces the oppressor.
Psalm 72:3-5 (NKJV)
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.
Psalm 103:5-6 (NKJV)
6 Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, 7 Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous.
Psalm 146:6-8 (NKJV)
16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke [a]the oppressor; [b]Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:16-18 (NKJV)
8 Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Execute true justice, Show [a]mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.’
Zechariah 7:8-10 (NKJV)
17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
18 “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
saying, “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
God’s justice is making things right, being kind to those who need kindness, helping those who need a hand up, feeding those who need food, and sheltering those who need roofs over their head. It’s not taking people to court and making them pay the last penny or bombing their cities or killing our enemies. That’s vengeance!
A few years ago, a Sophomore bent a cherished rule while attending a Christian high school, but rather than doing the right thing such as giving him a few days at home to think about changing paths; they expelled him. And the reason–they didn’t want people to believe the school endorsed “bad” behavior; they thought it would give the school a bad reputation if they didn’t do something punishing.
In like manner, many schools and businesses do the same, and so does the government. It’s possible that the bigger the institution, the more commonly this sad practice occurs. But why? What drives this behavior?
Kohlberg, Piaget, and Timothy Jennings suggest that people can go through 6 or 7 stages of moral development. However, it’s my experience that not everyone advances at the same pace, nor do they all reach the final stages, and it’s possible to advance and retreat along the spectrum depending on the issue. Consider Corrie Ten Boom, who broke the law to save Jews in the Holocaust. She illegally hid Jews in her home from the Nazis and then lied when they asked her about it, which is wrong, but she saved many lives, which is the right thing to do. Corrie lived and acted on the, do what is right, principle, not the, do what is legal, principle.
She Suffered a Stroke
Consider Eric, when he noticed his wife had suffered a stroke. Her face was drooping; her arm was numb. He had to get her to the hospital and did so by doubling the speed limit, sliding through stop signs, and running orange-red traffic lights in desperation. With the hospital in view, a police car pulls in behind him with lights flashing and siren blaring. But Eric doesn’t pull over. Instead, he turns on his flashers and continues to speed-on to the hospital. He gets to the hospital entrance, brushes past the arresting officer, and carries his wife into the emergency room. Eric was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, two counts of traffic signals violation, and an expired registration. Did Eric do the right or wrong thing? It depends on your level of moral development. https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/news/story/2010/jun/22/officer-put-leave/21018/
For many, moral growth stagnates at Stage 4, Law and Order, a don’t break the rules, idealism, and fail to mature into fully developed adults, who, do what is right because it is right.
Why Don’t We Grow Up?
Why then do we not grow up? What hinders our growth? Is it easier and safer to merely depend on keeping the law and not thinking for ourselves? Is it a crutch, an easy out we use when it’s convenient or when it’s to our advantage? Could it also be part of our Judeo-Christian heritage and the laws God gave in the Bible? Could it be that in our culture, everything is decided in the courts where we settle for the lowest moral bar?
For non-Christians such as atheists and agnostics, whether we know it or not, we have expectations and visions of what perfection looks like in a person, even if we don’t put a name on it such as Allah, or Jehovah, or Jesus, or The Force. Regardless of what we call it, we become what we most highly admire, desire, and idolize. We imitate what we prize most; we become what we love. It may be power or money, it may be a mentor, but we only rise as high as our heroes take us. As Kohlberg, Piaget, and Jennings suggest, we all grow through these moral stages and most of society hovers around Level 4 unless pushed and challenged to rise above, to plunge forward.
It’s a Christian’s Picture of God that Counts
As Christian adults, I posit it’s our picture of God that allows for or inhibits our maturation in moral lines. If you fear a God who has the ultimate power over your life or death and you don’t trust him, you will rarely rise above level 4 thinking. Out of fear, you will do what it takes to avoid punishment (Level 1), you will obey out of self-interest (save your skin, Level 2), you will obey to be a “good little boy or girl” staying off our heavenly Santa’s bad list (Level 3), or you will obey the laws precisely as given, never deviating an inch (Level 4).
Moving forward and rising above the fray is risky. Those in Levels below you believe you have abandoned the truth, gone soft, lost your marbles, or have gone to the Dark Side. Your friends don’t understand and neither do your family. And this is why it’s so hard to change: no one wants to be the focus of criticism, especially from those you love.
Not until you see God as friendly can you develop past Levels 1-3 and the law and order stage. And for that, you have to get rid of the fear of punishment. Fortunately, the Bible does this in several ways.
Jesus came to this planet to demonstrate what God is like, and he wasn’t scary; he didn’t hurt a fly. He healed the blind and the sick, forgave sinners, and washed his betrayer’s feet. Even those who beat him and spit on him had nothing to fear because he didn’t retaliate. Jesus showed us that God is not as his enemies have made him out to be: vengeful, unforgiving, and severe. He painted a picture of God that’s full of love and kindness and compassion and not someone to fear–ever.
Jesus was given the task of representing us in heaven, as our advocate. When Satan comes around to accuse us to the Father or angels, Jesus defends our name. Knowing that God is on our side, reduces the fear too.
Needing Milk Not Solid Food
I wish everyone could read the Bible through for themselves. If we did, many of the sermons we hear would be unnecessary. We are served milk and not meat because we don’t read for ourselves, and some significant churches don’t help. They cloud the goodness of God behind formality, behind beautiful choirs or exciting bands, behind pomp and circumstance and stained glass, and they never get to what’s essential. They don’t encourage their congregations to read the entire Bible for themselves or to think for themselves. Here-a-little and there-a-little is their only approach because they can’t justify their teachings if you take the whole of Scripture. I believe that they think we are stupid and gullible, and maybe we are. I also believe that many people don’t question their teachers and just go with tradition because they have not taken the time and effort to study for themselves.
And the results are predictable. Without knowing the truth: that God wants us to love the individual, to care for and uplift the suffering, struggling sinners among us, we support the institution instead. We settle for Level 4 or lower morality, protect the powers that be and damn the people that need our help the most. What has happened to Christian love? My Bible says to love, love even your enemies; and yet, we throw-out people left and right to save the institution.
In contrast, consider Jesus’ radical love. He, the institution, healed the untouchable lepers by touching their wounds. He broke bread with tax collectors and prostitutes, the dregs of society, and his friends and followers were lowly, unskilled fishermen. Can we do any less?