Atonement = at-onement - how did that morph into a violent, bloodthirsty requirement from God to kill his son to in order to be able to forgive humanity? How did this and other absurd ideas get plastered on the life of a man who taught an extension of his native Judaism?
He took the Laws of Moses and went the extra mile. Don't just cease murder, actually love your enemies. Don't just forgive once, forgive 70x7. Don't just refrain from adultery, don't even think lustfully. etc. etc. etc.
I'm reading Bishop Spong's new book, "Unbelievable." He is concerned for Christianity's chance of survival beyond this century if we don't take out the absurd beliefs that got attached to it over the many centuries. Some were just because as Christianity moved away from Judaism, non-Jews didn't understand what things meant. Some were added to control and increase power over people. Some kept changing to opposites, so that what was "orthodox" became heretical and then back again. Just read history.
Think about how many huge variations of teachings and beliefs exist this very day in the hundreds of groups that call themselves "Christian." Perhaps following the way of Jesus is something different than being part of a conflicting " Christian " group.
I join in the quest for the original teachings and meanings. Let's peel off crazy additions that make no sense and are turning people away in the droves.
I've been saying lately that I see to-do lists in the earliest writings, not to-believe lists. And I believe if we turned to actually live as taught by Jesus, most of the world's problems could be solved pretty quickly.
Think on these things.