Friday, February 12, 2010

Atonement: Justice is at fault, not God

The atonement was a necessary part of God's plan to fulfill the demands of justice. When we fail to comply with one of the commandments it would be just to receive a punishment for the transgression. But we also expect God to be merciful and forgive our sins. God is said to be perfect(Matt 5:48) and as such we should expect him to be perfectly just and perfectly merciful. To remain as such poses a problem when we add consequences into the equation.

If perfection equals 100%, than anything less than that would no longer be perfect. If God were to let just one sin slide without a consequence, that would leave him less than perfect. Likewise if he never forgave sins he could not be merciful. To remain perfect he needs to be able to forgive sins, and dish out the consequence for sin. The atonement is what makes this possible for him. The atonement meets the needs of justice. Christ took the punishment for every sin of every person and therefore fulfilled the demands that justice has on sin. What we needed the saving and the redemption from is the separation that we have with God, this is called spiritual death. What causes us to be separated from God is sin. Here is a passage from a book of scripture outside the bible that does talk about the need for an atonement.

Christ was also a willing participant for his roll as the redeemer as seem in the Garden of Gethsemane when he was asking that if there was another way to fulfill justice that it would be done, but then submitted to the fathers will and followed through with suffering the the sins of the world. Matt, Mark, and Luke all record this.

Appease means that peace or calm is brought about, or something is caused to subside. Sacrifices meant to appease a God then should fit this description. After Christ died on the cross we only get a sentence that says anything about what occurred after his death in the gospels. The temple rent and the earth quaked. That doesn't sound like peace and calm or subsiding of anything to me. Here you can read of things that are believed by some to have occurred on the American continent at the time of the crucifixion. More things that attest to a God who is not calm or subdued, no appeasement. Either the atonement then failed to appease a bloodthirsty God, as some believe him to be, or it wasn't meant for that purpose at all. If it was to fulfill justice, as I have suggested, and there was no other way to accomplish this task, as the scriptures point out, then those things that are written about after Christs death, quakes and destruction, fit a God who is lamenting the death of his son and not a God who has been pacified by a blood sacrifice.

1 comment:

Logan Cres said...

I'm preparing a visual aid to discuss this article.
This topic, and this author is what prompted me to invite him and mattk to produce this blog.
the atonement is too complex for all of the ideas it depends on to be considered without some type of aid to check for consistency.

Its like calculus, most of us need pencil and paper, or a calculator.