Scriptural Hints on Sin Dodging

Sin, the alleged estrangement from God due to transgressing God’s “known will,” is the age-old whip of faith system chieftains.  The notion that some god could be directly or inadvertently offended and thus bring about disastrous consequences seemed plausible in the hostile conditions of primal forests or in the depths of gloomy caves.  That trait, born of fear of the unknown, is apparently cast into the DNA of animate life as a self-preserving attribute.  That natural preservation trait, unfortunately, can be mined like a vein of gold for crafty schemers.

By chapter three in the holy book of Genesis, after the the compressed account of Creation is dispensed with, the plot jumps rapidly into the introduction of sin with Eve nibbling fruit from the do-not-touch Tree of Knowledge.  For this alleged sinful incident not only was Eve, Adam and the serpent given a death sentence, but all life forms were condemned to experience God’s continuous indulgence vengeance.  Sin was then established as a vicious circle in Genesis 4:7 with God allegedly saying to Adam and Eve’s son Cain, “If thous doest well, shalt not thou be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.”  Cain, not understanding the concept of sin–perhaps because mom, Eve, had already tainted all life with “original sin” anyway–by the very next verse (8) Cain kills his brother Abel.  Now that is divine speed writing!  But God’s earlier condemning judgement upon what he considered to be sin was impulsively made amendable by God setting a protective mark upon Cain’s head.  Thus did “sin” become incorporated into “faith” and become the meal ticket for the CEOs in the business of belief.

The great pivotal moment in  “sin history,” according to 8th century BCE priest-interpreted accounts, hinges upon the Lord’s alleged call for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering to receive special blessings.  In Jewish recognition of this momentous event of Abraham’s unquestioning obedience is celebrated with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Abraham’s devotion is held as representative of their faith system’s especial characteristics even through Judaism as such did not exist in that distant timeframe.  Never fully explained is why the son Isaac was to be sacrificed: to stimulate Abraham’s greed?   It is never clearly said why God would have asked for such a senseless act.  Some devotees have suggested that it was simply a test.  But if God is omniscient (all-knowing) what could God be uncertain about?  As this story is depicted by priest authors, neither God nor Abraham inspire any spiritual admiration. And why would Isaac be such a spineless wimp?  For some devotees Isaac is held to be the first Jewish martyr (again ignore the fact that Judaism as such did not exist in that timeframe).  Functionally there can be only one purpose for this tale: since God, the personification of the Life Principle, would never condone such child abuse the story’s purpose in the priest-written texts is aimed to encourage submission and obedience of seekers to the priest-manufactured faith.

In the later priest-written book of Leviticus (18:6-7), the priestly lust for control is highlighted in the supposed shifting of sin guilt–with God’s okay–by transmitting personal guilt to some hapless victim.  The alleged God-approved instructions read, “And he (a priest) shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the door of the tent of meeting.  And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one for the Lord, and the other for Azazel.”  We should note that the word “tent” in prehistory cultures was an occult reference to primordial energies of Creation which are to passed over into  manifestation as matter forms.  To retain their authority over the seekers the priests indulged themselves in the slaughter of one goat on the Temple altar, and sent the other ill fated goat into the wilds to be torn apart by predators.  Or, depending on site location, the other goat was hurled by priests from a cliff to be cruelly dashed upon the jagged rocks below.  The alleged reason for hurling the goat from a cliff?  Supposedly Azazel was imprisoned beneath the cliff.

Nowhere is it ever explained in Hebrew or Jewish texts why the “Lord”–a self-admitted jealous god–would ever sanction such a custom of equal offerings, for by presenting identical offerings it is openly admitted that Azazel was indeed considered the equal to God.  Consider also that the name Azazel is said to mean “God strengthens,” so the implication seems to be that one aspect of the creative Source, active as the Life Principle, cannot be Creative without the other (positive/negative generation).  What this tale inadvertently reveals is that the Source-power cannot create and bring anything into existence except through a process of positive/negative exchange and interaction.

Even in this twenty-first century of space flights and instantaneous communications around the planet there are still Orthodox Jews who practice the bloody ritual of slaughtering hapless animal life (such as chickens) in an appeal to God for personal forgiveness.  In Los Angeles, California, for example, there are Orthodox Jews who seek to sidestep ethical responsibility and save themselves from sin through victimizing defenseless animal life.

The Roman Empire “fathers” and “saints” of Christianity (such as Paul, Jerome, Augustine, etc.) enthusiastically took up the sin ensnarement tactic.  As reworked by the “fathers” this aided the submit-and-obey features of the faith by relating how Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of the world (the Roman world).  On that alleged occasion (as with Abraham) God did not provide any reasonable explanation for substituting Jesus for the sake of the world’s indulgence in sin.  But in accepted texts, God so loved the world that he would allow it to sidestep immoral conduct by permitting his “only begotten son” to be sacrificed.  It seems a rather bizarre game move if God hoped it would teach that everyone must stand responsible for their own acts if they are to evolve.

Why should this implied God-approved torture and slaying of his own beloved son inspire the world with any spiritual love or trust?  Such a concept hinges upon a pre-Christian concept among societies of the Near and Mid East in which no rite was seen to hold more august power with the people than the sacrifice of the king or the king’s son for redemption of the king’s people.  That superstition was impressed upon Roman Empire culture around 60 BCE when the Roman general Pompey (106-48 BCE) captured Jerusalem, which was then weakened due to a power struggle between two sons of King Aristobulus.  Pompey installed one of the king’s sons–Hyreau–as high priest and took the other son, Antigonus (along with his sons), to Rome as displays of triumph.  Eventually, however, it was Antigonus who became priest-king, and in his short reign before being taken by Marc Antony in 37 BCE he had slain his own two sons–presumably as sacrifice for the welfare of his people.  The whole mystery ritual of redemption through such sacrifice then seemed to the Jews to have been played out again when Antigonus himself was publicly scourged, then bound to the stake, and then beheaded.  The Jews accepted that his extermination was to redeem his people.  It was this spiritual influence that colored the writings of Christianity’s early authors.

So the notion of using a scapegoat for dodging sin, as first promoted in the priest-written book of Leviticus, is subtly upheld throughout holy texts.  Unfortunately, the only thing that is set up for the faithful in using a substitute for personal guilty is that they will always seek out ways to sidestep personal responsibility for themselves.  However, passing the blame to another invokes only the illusion that such “sacrifice” frees one to fly to Heaven on a comfortable mattress of lies.  Makes one wonder if such a Heaven can be trusted.

 

 

 

 

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