A lot of Christian doctrine is based on the texts we ascribe to Paul. In fact, it’s common to hear the question of whether traditional Christians are followers of Jesus, or of Paul.
Regardless of how you feel about that, we need to recognize that the early church fathers were attempting to explain a radical concept to people who still saw “god” as someone who lived on a mountain and hurled thunderbolts. That influenced how they presented the Message of the Christ, and it influences how the people who heard them interpreted it.
That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 2 Corinthians 5:19
We can read this excerpt literally and accept the traditional sacrificial understanding of our faith history. It’s an interpretation that made perfect sense to, for instance, the Romans, whose gods were bathed in blood.
Or we can read it as mythos, and find an entirely different, and to me more compelling, image of Theos, the God of all Creation.
As mythos, this one sentence tells us that the Message of the Christ is that all of us, and all of Creation, in spite of our imperfections, are one with God. It tells us that there is one harmonious whole that is defined by the life and teachings of Jesus.
And it tells us that each of us is entrusted with living that Message so that others can see it in our actions every day.
Each of us is entrusted with living the Message of the Christ so that others can see it in our actions every day.