Portugal. The Man's song, Modern Jesus, begins to get at the problem of our outdated theology concerning the atonement.

Portugal. The Man's song, Modern Jesus, begins to get at the problem of our outdated theology concerning the atonement. Simply put, the modern person does not feel guilt. Not as an individual anyway. Occasionally guilt is applied to other people by the modern individual, but only in the most outrages of circumstances (for example, a ceo who says he is too tired to continue with a press conference about how his company had poisoned the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of people. The modern individual will voice outrage at the lack of guilt showed by the ceo without ever thinking about how thier own consumer life is equally culpable of thousand of similar trespasses).

At best, the modern individual feels anxiety, not guilt. And it is worth noting that it is not an anxiety born of wrongs done against others or wrongs against god, but it is an anxiety born out of missed opportunities for the individual themself. Death is not to be feared as much as boredom, and this is exemplified by how heaven is portrayed. Paradise is the mansion you never got on earth, with all the fun you can muster. Heaven means you don't have to worry about a lack of pleasure or toiling away pointlessly trying to find it. It's a perpetual timeshare that is owned by Jesus, but you might as well not mention him because you'll never see him anyway.

We no longer need a Jesus that died for the guilt our sins created. We need a Jesus who died so we don't feel anxious. Honestly though, with modern medicine's pills, it is only a matter of time before we'll have to find something else for Jesus to have died for altogether.