Christian Guilt and a Christian Perspective on Abortion
A little piece on Christian guilt. What "It is finished" means, the dying words of the Christ on the cross. Or so it is written.
I was thinking on Christian guilt and shame, and how the religion that proclaims an end to sin leaves people feeling so bad. Here's what I think "It is finished!" means in practise. How you can live in the reality of it. You'll spot original sin and repentance in here too if you know how to look.
Of course you don't need to believe in the cross for this to work. What you think you believe is irrelevant. The point is to do it, to live free from guilt.
All your actions, all your behaviour and what others might call sin, is completely explained by your genetics and environment and personal history. The accident of your birth and the circumstances in which you found yourself, through no fault of your own. All your choices were governed by internal forces you barely understand yourself and that can only possibly be judged unfairly from the outside. In this we are innocent. We were all born fucked up into a fucked up world. It isn't our fault
And yet, all our actions are also fully and completely explained by the conscious decisions we made. We are fully responsible for our actions and who we are.
How do we cut this Gordian knot?
Well we may take the archetype of the Christ crucified. There is a price to pay for evil, a moral price, and yet the price is paid by the blood of the divine. Metaphorically the blood of the divine is the blood of the innocent. So much has been spilled.
If we accept who we are and what we have done, face it head on and take the consequences whatever they might be, then we are fully innocent. There is no blame for there is a full explanation and a full account.
Accept who you are. Your nature and your desires are good and not evil. They just need good expression. That is in zero ways based on other people's opinion. They cannot understand you. Every person is a sphinx, a mystery known only to themselves.
If you're willing to accept and face who you are, and face and accept your own personal history, then you are blameless. Where you have hurt people, who are still responsible for their own feelings, you can be sorry without having to feel bad except by empathy for them. You're not meant to feel bad.
It's when we reject ourselves, call ourselves bad, repress ourselves, refuse to re-examine the past, fail to face ourselves or the past, run from the shadow of guilt that has been laid on us so that it never departs, then we live under the curse of the law. It is finished means an end to punitive justice.
Guilt is just not needed. Refuse to be guilty without running from the truth. Reject guilt and shame. Cast them far from you.
A Christian perspective on abortion.
In Hebrew thought it is the breath that is sacred and is the life of God in us. New Testament Greek uses the Greek word for breath, pneuma, to mean spirit. Hebrew uses ruach to mean breath and wind and spirit.
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
And with that Christ breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit".
This is Ecclesiastes 12:7 (CEV)
So our bodies return
to the earth,
and the life-giving breath
returns to God.
The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
Here's an interesting one:
In Exodus 21:22 it states that if a man causes a woman to have a miscarriage, he shall be fined; however, if the woman dies then he will be put to death. It should be apparent from this that the aborted fetus is not considered a living human being since the resulting punishment for the abortion is nothing more than a fine; it is not classified by the bible as a capital offence.
But what about Psalm 139:13?
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Life, personhood, begins with first breath even though God knew us before then.