Monday, September 24, 2007

Why did Christ die?

I recently had the opportunity to interact with the author of an evangelical Christian blog through comments on one of his blog posts. The title of the entry is entitled "Christ Died For Sinners" which immediately caught my attention.

After reading the short entry and the enclosed quote, I submitted a question in comment form. To my astonishment, I got a reply. Not only do these bloggers seem to be amped up for evangelism but interested in apologetics as well. I welcome their arguments.



Former Follier Says: September 24th, 2007 at 3:30 pm
Christ died in order to save a fallen creation by taking the sins of an infinitely wicked world against an infinitely holy god upon himself, does that about sum it up?

One question: If our sins are so abhorrent to god as to allow his “son” to be the propitiation for our sin, then what is Jesus doing sitting at the right hand of god right now? If the sins of mankind are punishable by eternal damnation, shouldn’t the sacrifice bear the burden? Three days in the ground hardly seems “just”.

Good thing it’s only a fable.



Josh Says: September 24th, 2007 at 3:51 pm
Former Follier,

you obviously have your doubts as to whether or not the biblical account of Jesus death and atonement really is a fable or you wouldn’t have bothered checking our site. Jesus suffered the full weight of God’s anger for all the sins of all His people before he died, while he hung on the cross, and when he cried out “it is finished”, he signified that he had fully drunk the last dregs of the punishment that all his people deserved. It is certainly a mystery that Jesus could sustain an infinitely intense dose of God’s anger, enough punishment to keep all His people in Hell for all eternity. Only Jesus could do this because only Jesus was and is both God and man. His human nature was enabled to do what no other human nature could i.e. soak up all the wrath of God and come out the other side. The gospel is foolishness to the natural man - it is a mathematical improbability too great to fathom and yet it is the truth. God has no physical form and yet all power to create and sustain all things. Because something is a mystery doesn’t mean it isn’t true. For a simple analogy imagine God’s wrath like a tap with an infinite variety of pressure and volume settings - God says in his word that some will suffer more in hell and some less - all will suffer according to the nature of their sin. God turns the tap of his wrath to the precise measurement of what that sinner deserves. Jesus takes the place of all his people beneath the deluge of Gods wrath and God turns the tap on full bore to blast the soul of Jesus with the full weight of hell that all his people deserve. The volume and the pressure of that tap are of such severity that they fully satisfy the requirements of God’s justice. So severe was this punishment that the contemplation of it caused Jesus to sweat blood.We read it. We believe it.


Former Follier Says: September 25th, 2007 at 3:39 am
Josh,

Your assumptions that I am still wrestling with my beliefs are false. Simply looking at my online nickname (a portmanteau of “Former Follower” and “folly”) is a testament to that fact.

However, I still fail to comprehend how a god could send himself in human form to die for the sins which he allowed to enter the world in order to appease himself. It not only seems self-serving, it seems to be superfluous. Especially taking into consideration the fact that there was no good reason for him to supposedly create us in the first place. According to Christian theology, we are here to serve and glorify him. He already had a “heavenly host” of created beings (with free will as is evidenced by the fall of Lucifer and his demons) with no other purpose but to glorify and praise god (as the story goes).

Regardless, for god to send his “son” (himself in human form) for the sole purpose of dying to absolve a contrite mankind from its sin, doesn’t that equate to suicide? Whether or not Jesus killed himself is irrelevent; the fact that he came to earth knowing full-well what would occur meant that he submitted to and pursued his own death. It’s akin to the “suicide by cop” phenomenon on a cosmic scale.

The problem lies in your the last sentence of your reply: “We read it, we believe it.” I certainly hope mankind will have moved beyond such mental lethargy two thousand years from now at which point the Harry Potter chronicles could be considered diviniely inspired holy text.


Former Follier Says: September 25th, 2007 at 3:43 am
To clarify things a bit, I did not actively seek out your site or even your content, necessarily. I did a generic Google search for “Way of the Master” (which my website is devoted to countering) and stumbled across your blog. Divine providence, perhaps?

11 comments:

Jason said...

There was no grace given to fallen angels. There is a difference in how God relates to man and angels since angels relate to him in a different realm (they're in heaven, we are not).

God was glorified in casting rebellious angels out of his presence (he is light and in him is no darkness) and in the same way he will be glorified for his kindness in showing mercy to sinful man.

Sinful man had a free-will prior to the fall, and he freely chose to rebel. That rebellion resulted in the entire race being cursed with both spiritual and physical death. God, in his omniscience, knew that this would happen and he sent his son to die for those whom he saw fit to save.

He did this for the good pleasure of his will. The word says that it is God's good pleasure to give the kingdom to his sheep (luke 12:32). His elect are such according to the good pleasure of his will (eph 1:5). He lavished upon his elect the mystery of redemption, forgiveness of sin and all the riches of his grace according to the good pleasure of his will which he set forth in Christ to unite all things in him (eph 1:5-9)

Jesus' life death and resurrection was fore-ordained (sp?). The word says that He is the lamb of God slain from before the foundations of the earth. God knew that man would fall before man fell, but God made provisions to reconcile fallen man to himself SO THAT HE WOULD BE GLORIFIED FOR HIS KINDNESS. And that was made possible through Jesus Christ. The death of the just for the unjust, the righteous for the unrighteous.

The bible talks about people like you and it does so clearly. I'm sure that you are a pleasant person, but the Lord is not pleased with you (and you know it). Your rebellion has to stop. The Lord of the universe commands it. Do not be deceived, the Lord is not mocked. Sow denial and you will reap a denial of his mercy. Your denial of his truth does not make it false. I pray for your repentance and faith. You've heard the gospel (several times), you know what you need to do to be made right with God. Please do those things, I fear for the eternal state of your soul.

henwli said...

Thank you for something we've heard a thousand times before, rank Christian #98623847.

Here in Finland we actually have a national church (Evangelical Lutheran), our country is sending us to hell by the truckloads because we don't believe the same things as you do over there, right? Isn't the government God's messenger between Him and us? Oh, wait, that's just the American Government! When lead by a republican Christian!

Former Follier said...

Thanks, Jason... I've sat through that very same sermon many times. I'm curious why your god is so needy and unstable as to require praise. Does his inability to appreciate and satisfy himself somehow lessen his godhood? I mean, we're so lowly it seams kind of ridiculous that he would create a relative ant farm and demand the worship and adoration from the ants. Regardless of your definitions of grace and mercy, he created us to be servile robots.

Jason said...

Looks like you had a big bowl of your sarcasm-o's this morning.

You've heard it before, but it is the power of God unto salvation. My prayer is that your heart of stone would be replaced with a heart of flesh.

your country isn't sending you to hell. Your sin is. The government IS established by God, but as we've seen in a lot of the Old Testament (as well as in the new), the government doesn't always do "what is right in the eyes of the Lord".

The only thing that the bible says that is REALLY relevant to you is the fact that your sin is the cause for big problems between you and God. What good will knowledge of romans 13 do for you if you are still and enemy of the Lord ?

Doesn't look like this conversation will be too fruitful. I'll check back into this site periodically.

Nice job on the mix.

The article that you posted about repetition of false things leading to people believing false things to be true works both ways.

If you want to hit me directly, try me on my xanga page.

Jason said...

Mr. portmanteau of "former follower" and "folly".

I appreciate your honesty.

He is God. He will do as he sees fit. If you take objection to that, fine.

Romans 9 says "Who are you oh man to talk back to God?". He is God. He is infinite. He is eternal. He is "I am".

I believe his word to make sense objectively. I submit to his word as truth because his spirit indwells me.

I'll respect your beliefs if you respect mine. I believe that we both know where the other stands

Anonymous said...

"The greatest sin that was ever committed in the history of the world... was planned by God, namely the death of His Son."
- John Piper

Emily said...

Why are atheists so obsessed with Christianity? You expend a great deal of energy arguing its validity and the existence of Jesus Christ, creating web sites, youtube videos, blog sites and the like. Why?

Geoffrey said...

I always wondered why people say "Christ died for your sins", and then subsequently say, "He's alive, God is real ..." Did he die or not? How big was his sacrifice anyway? ... I mean, He's God right? The Creator of the universe? The most powerful thing in the history of history? So what's being crucified for a couple hours, and going to Hell for three days IF YOU'RE THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE THAT LIVEES FOREVER? It's nothing.

And Emily, we atheists care about all religions because we're generally curious people who have a thirst for knowledge and a devotion to both morality (as opposed to the immorality of religion) and to the progress of ideas and peoplekind. Also, we wouldn't be so aggressive if we didn't feel imposed upon by prenicious creatues such as the immoral, abusive, lying creeps from WOTM.

We're defending freedom here and the future of mankind - and as Barry Goldwater said, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice ..."

henwli said...

Emily,

Personally, I'm obsessed with this WotM-type American McChristianity because I've followed it's motions for so long. It's almost like a hobby. Some two to three years ago I ran into some Way of the Master trifle, and actually felt sorry for these guys once I realized they weren't joking, and got hooked to the whole fundamentalist/creationism issue. It's just something I've focused on and studied extensively enough to feel confident to air my views on.

I do agree that atheists place too much emphasis on Christianity, since the underlying problem is people's tendency nowadays to distance themselves from reality and patch it up with whatever nonsense happens to be at hand. It appears, to make a gross generalization, that man is losing his inquisitive nature. I join you in your wondering.

This is me speaking as someone who has spent a sum total of three weeks on your continent. Were I to live there, I'd imagine being quite livid about some issues, as Geoffrey demonstrates.

Geoffrey said...

I'm glad I could be a good demonstration for you, Henwli ...

... normally, I'm quite pleasant and mature ...

Betty said...

3 Days dead was in fulfillment of prophecy to confirm God's Word. He rose from the dead, firstborn. God will judge the world in righteuosness and has fixed a day for this, having furnished proof for all men by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:31) Christ's death was judgment on sinners, God became just and justifier.(Romans 3) God loves justice!! The main reason for Christ's death was to the glory of God and a testimony to His Namesake.