Lemuel K. Washburn: “The Sacrifice of Jesus”

A great deal has been written, preached and said about the great sacrifice which Jesus made for the world.

We deny that he made any such sacrifice as is claimed for him by the Christian Church. In fact, we cannot see, find or learn from any record of the New Testament that he made any sacrifice at all. This whole idea about the sacrifice of Jesus depends upon a theological assumption.

Jesus had no earthly honor, position or estate to sacrifice, even had he been disposed to offer such for the good of mankind. Not only is there no evidence of any tangible renunciation possible by Jesus, but there is no proof and no sign that Jesus possessed even the spirit of sacrifice. We challenge the Christian admirer of Jesus to point to a single act of this hero that can honestly be called a sacrifice. We know of no such act. We have studied the Gospels to find such an act, and we have studied them in vain.

When a mother sees her boy pinned to the timbers of a wrecked car where the scalding steam must escape into his face and destroy his life, and to save her boy, voluntarily stands where this steam, with its hot breath, will take her life instead of her boy’s, this mother makes a sacrifice that is apparent, real. Such an act is sublime, grand, beyond heroism. Such an act wipes the Christian slander of total depravity from human nature. Such an act makes us almost worship the heart great enough to perform it.

Jesus did no such things as this. He braved no danger for another. He did not walk in the path of peril to save the life of friend or fellow. On the contrary, he seemed bent on a selfish mission, inspired by a purely personal ambition. He did not say: This world is suffering from oppression; I will lay down my life to make it free. He did not seek to destroy the throne and the scepter that bear so heavily on the poor and weak; but he sought a throne and a scepter for himself so that he might rule the world.

Jesus sacrifice himself for the world! No! He demanded that the world sacrifice itself to exalt him! A poorer specimen of self-sacrifice could hardly be found in all the historical out-of-the-way places that we know anything about. Jesus had nothing to give up, nothing to renounce, nothing but his life to offer to the world, and this, even when it was taken, did the world no good.

The only incident in the whole career of Jesus which has been construed as a sacrifice was his crucifixion, but this was not voluntary on the part of the victim. Jesus, in dying, made no sacrifice. He surrendered his life at the command of a political power; he did not offer it for the world’s advancement. Jesus was the sport of circumstances, the victim of a cruel fate. He played for high stakes and lost. He was an adventurer, and suffered the penalty of failure. Taking the account of his career in the Gospels as true, it is totally barren of any lofty, sublime action for the good of the human race. He did not throw his efforts into the public strife to elevate the condition of the majority, but he loaded himself on the shoulders of his followers to ride into divine greatness. Like hundreds of others, he threw the dice of political chance and was beaten.

In following the Gospel steps of the deluded Nazarene we are not sure which are his and which are not, but take all the stories as true which his devoted disciples have told about him, they do not reveal a mind consecrated to any lofty purpose.

He was working to establish the “kingdom of heaven,” but nobody knows what that is. He talked about his “father in heaven,” but nobody knows who he is. He had no practical ideas, he did no practical work.

History would have written this man’s name among the unfortunate victims of political revolutions, if it had preserved it at all, which is doubtful, but Jesus was made by priest-craft to play a leading part in a theological drama, and religion has immortalized his name.

But it is a false part that Jesus has played. No such character has any reason for existing. The necessity for any human offering to God does not exist. The idea of an atoning sacrifice is a relic of a barbarous faith. It is time to take Christianity off the stage. It is an insult to the twentieth century.

The silly, sickly superstition of the sacrifice of Jesus should be left to die. It sprang from falsehood and has no basis in fact, in reason or in truth.

About The Great One

Am interested in science and philosophy as well as sports; cycling and tennis. Enjoy reading, writing, playing chess, collecting Spyderco knives and fountain pens.
This entry was posted in Lemuel K. Washburn and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lemuel K. Washburn: “The Sacrifice of Jesus”

  1. wellwateredgarden says:

    Yeah, the whole thing does seem a little preposterous. Yet, as the saying goes, you can fool some people all of the time and you can fool all people some of the time … but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    I checked with a friend, who is a little more educated about these things, and he said that the Bible says that, “The knowledge of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

    So i don’t know if there is anything to this God thing. You seem to think that the need for God is a made up story by men of old. Could be I guess.

    But what if there actually is a God who judges people about their life on earth and either condemns them or rewards them based on it? It seems to me that if there is any truth to it we need to consider it more than we’re doing.

    • TGO says:

      The whole idea that there is a God who judges our actions and rewards or punishes us accordingly seems to me a little ridiculous; on many fronts. I could write pages and pages on this issue alone, but just to be brief, using biblical folklore, I’ll say this. Let’s say there is a God who created us. Being that he’s omniscient he knows everything. If he knows everything he already knows how we’re going to act even before we actually take actions. This would mean that we have no free will, because if we had free will we could change what God already knows, which of course would be impossible since we already established that God is omniscient and couldn’t be wrong in his knowledge of the future. Further, if he already knows we’re going to do bad deeds, and allows them to happen, then who’s fault is it, really, since he supposedly created us? And being that he is supposedly also all-powerful, he must not be all-good if he allows us to do bad things. If he’s not all-good himself, how can he judge us, his creation, and punish us for our “sins”? The whole thing makes no sense.

      By the way, doing good for the sake of doing good is much better than doing good because one fears punishment. Otherwise the implication is that if not for fear of being “caught” doing something bad, we would do bad things simply because we think we can get away with them.

      Anyway, the whole concept of good versus evil, reward and punishment, a cosmic administrator who’s watching every move we make, etc. was a way of the few controlling the masses in an attempt to keep people in check through fear and superstition. I believe it’s time we do away with these silly ideas of the supernatural and just deal with life here on earth.

      And just to quote someone much more intelligent than me (not that he could prove his opinions to be correct anymore than I can) read the following thoughts on the subject, by Albert Einstein:

      “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

      “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.”

  2. wellwateredgarden says:

    Wow! You agree that Jesus gave His life willingly, but you claim there to be no purpose for it. Christianity (Christ followers), of course, claims that that very act was necessary for humankind to re-find favor with God – God the Father of Jesus and the Father of all who believe in Jesus.

    I take it that you have come to the conclusion that God is not necessary, not ever and certainly not in this enlightened twenty first century, so there is no reason to believe that man needs to be reconciled to God, if there is no God.

    Jesus claimed that no one could even begin to believe in God unless God made it possible and opened an individual’s spiritual eyes and ears and heart. So it is understandable that you might have no concept of God or the need to be reconciled to Him.

    If it was me, I’d ask God if He actually exists and to prove Himself to me. Try that and see what happens.

    The way I see it, anyway …

    PS: May the Lord bless you and yours at this time of year and forever.

    • TGO says:

      Thanks for your response.

      First of all, I don’t agree that Jesus gave his life willingly; unless of course he was an indoctrinated, brain-dead freak, similar to modern-day Islamic fundamentalists (suicide bombers). This whole concept that Jesus was special is simply silly. If one reads the Bible HONESTLY, they would have to admit that the Jesus of the “holy book” was a self-centered, ego-maniac who made incredible claims; claims which, of course, are only demonstrable through miracles requiring blind faith. Faith: that which is applied when there is no evidence to support a claim.

      Secondly, before one can argue as to whether or not God is necessary, they need to first and foremost describe God. I say this because I guarantee that no one has ANY IDEA what God is, who God is, or whether there is a God. People who are so certain about God and what God is are generally a mindless, unthinking part of the “herd” who simply repeat all that they’ve ever heard or been told. Obviously, most of these individuals have never stopped, reflected and thought, if only for an instant, about the entire God-thing that has been perpetuated through the ages. Has God proven “Himself” to mankind, if so, how? Notice that most individuals refer to God as a male. Was God a man? Might that be because men wrote the history books? Is it not silly to believe that a Being that presumably created the entire universe and everything in it is a male? I would think that this “Almighty Being” would not necessarily have a penis, especially since a penis wouldn’t be necessary for “He” never needed to have sex with anyone.

      Anyway, the whole concept of God, as described in the Bible, with all its incongruities and fairy tales, is no more real than the story of the Three Little Pigs, and much more dangerous. Modern-day fairy tales do not talk of gnashing of teeth, the destruction of entire cities (women and children included) and everlasting fire. These things are only found in the Bible.

Let me know your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.