Christian Beliefs And Culture

Was Jesus Divine is it okay to Question the Divinity of Jesus



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There are those Christians who believe that it is sinful to question the divinity of Jesus. Today, I raise that question often and my response is, "does it really matter?" I am a Christian not because of the divinity of not of Jesus but because I understand and believe what he taught by word and example. The most basic of Jesus' teachings is to love God and to love our neighbors. It was not necessary for Jesus to be divine in order to bring that message to the world.

It wasn't until I began studying for the priesthood at Seabury Western Seminary in Chicago, that I even felt comfortable thinking about questioning anything about Jesus. We were a diverse group of both students and professors and we raised question regarding our faith every day. For some, it was imperative that the consensus regarding the divinity of Jesus was that he was indeed divine. I was comfortable wrestling with the question of whether human and not divine Jesus made any difference.

Jesus was referred to as "Son of God." Did this make him divine? Each of us who believe in God are Sons and Daughters of God. What we must clearly remember is that the gospels were not written until somewhere between 60 and 100 years after the crucifixion. This being the case, and noting the lack of modern technology which might have captured Jesus' words as he spoke them, we must recognize that the writers of the gospels were weaving what they had learned about Jesus and in many ways, doing so to make him larger than life!

Jesus was most certainly prophetic. He understood that there was more to relationship with God than praying at set times, wearing special garments for prayer and separating some foods from others. Jesus was born to be the one to make a break from orthodox Judaism grounded in rigid rules and regulations and to manifest a new law; that of love.

As we question, have a clear image of Jesus; hear his words echo in your mind. Jesus was inspired by God to bring about change. He was born into a world where the emphasis was on "me" and "mine." Jesus redirected those who heard him as he announced "Blessed are the poor in spirit.....the meek....." Certainly these were not the attributes of the religious or the political leaders of the time. He watched the infirm as they sat on the streets and were by passed by those who had the means to help them. He gathered, uneducated fisherman to assist in spreading the Good News.

I'm not saying that Jesus might not be divine. What I am presenting is an option to a divine being. Jesus was certainly called by God to be prophetic and often confrontational. He is one of the prophets who leads the people of the earth to the Divine One known by many names. Questioning the divinity of Jesus strengthenes our understanding of who Jesus was/is. We need not fear questioning but must welcome the opportunity to question.

I suggest that once we have done some questioning on our own, that we find a couple of friends from different backgrounds and discuss and question Jesus' divinity with them. If your faith has always been strong, questioning it will not diminish it.

More about this author: Claudia Windal

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