Methodists/Love in Christianity

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Question
Why do you think that Jesus died on the cross?  Most Christian religions tend to think that it was that God sent down his son to die on the cross for our sins.  But I don't think God nor Jesus knew that he was going to be killed.  I think he was sent down as the son of God to teach us how to love, how to love everyone and even when they kill you, you still love them.  He still loved Judas when he was betrayed, he still loved the man who whipped him, and he still loved the man who avoided his eyes when they nailed him to the cross.  Then I think would Jesus have still loved a man like Hitler?  Not that he would have liked what he was doing and would have done everything non-violent to stop it, would he still love Hitler, then as I know that the point of Christianity is to apply that to my own life, I accepted it in my heart that I love Hitler, then everything else in the world was immediately taken in to my heart to and now I love everything just as Christ did.  I guess this is really just wanting your thoughts on the matter.

Answer
Dear Alex:

    You and I think very much alike. Jesus came to teach, demonstrate, and live the love of God for all, to show how to forgive 77x7 times and to forgive again. He forgave his persecutors and killers from the cross. It is by this life and death that he taught us how to live, die, and accept God's gift of life eternal. Let me suggest a book by Leslie Weatherhead, "The Will of God." He says that God's will can be found in three ways, intentional, circumstantial, and ultimate. God's intentional will was for Jesus to teach us God's way by living it. Circumstances, including human fear, sin, and violence brought Jesus to the cross, where he still lived God's will in circumstances beyond God's original intention. Then in the resurrection and its gift of forgiveness and eternal life God's ultimate will triumphed over the circumstances of sin and death.

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The Rev. William E. Olewiler

Expertise

United Methodist church structure and doctrine. Science and religion. Christian Education and the Sunday School. Religion and race. Women in the church. United Methodist pastor for 22 years. Member, commissions on Religion and Race and Status and Role of Women. Masters in Divinity and Religious Education.

Experience

Ordained deacon and elder, United Methodist Church. District and conference leadership.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, George Washington University, Washington DC Master of Arts, Political Science, Brown University, Providence RI Master of Arts, Teaching Secondary Social Studies, Teachers College/Columbia University, New York NY Master of Divinity, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC Doctor of Ministry, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC

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