Tag Archives: atonement

The Need to Understand Original Sin — post by Michael J. Findley

Bourdon,_Sébastien_-_Moses_and_the_Brazen_Serpent_-_1653-1654

People have always loved the approval of others. But to give up part of the truth of God’s Word just to win that approval will bring on the judgment of God.

Claiming the book of Genesis, at least the first eleven chapters, to be “allegorical” or “mythical” will win the approval of many. But if there was no historic Adam and Eve and no historical sin and Fall, why should we believe in Jesus Christ?

Without original sin, there is no need for a virgin birth, no need for an atonement and certainly no resurrection. And as Paul said, if Christ is not risen from the dead, we are yet in our sins. But, if the record of Adam and Eve is a myth, is there any sin?

Painting “Moses and the Brazen Serpent” by Sebastien Bourdon

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A Christian Continuum

The name or title “Q” is known to geeks and many others as the godlike creature in Star Trek the Next Generation. He was part of something called the “Q Continuum,” a race of fellow godlike beings who apparently liked being aloof and distant from mankind. This Q claimed he had benevolent feelings for humanity (include in this all the races of intelligent beings STNG insisted existed, please), and was just trying to figure man out. Usually, however, he did this by putting people in outrageous and impossible situations. He found out how to create these situations by asking questions about cultural ethics, values, and resolves, or at least those that the scriptwriters claimed man held. He would then reduce people to helplessness and cause them to fail. He was trying to help man, he insisted. He was trying to show the crew of the Enterprise how unprepared mankind was.

A conference of young evangelicals calling itself “Q,” hosted by Gabe Lyons, met in the middle of April of this year. Among other things the conference advocated providing contraceptives to singles in evangelical churches, as a ministry of the church. The name Q seems appropriate, given the repeated insistence by the group that they were caring and concerned, that they only wanted to help people, to get them prepared for the realities of life. I don’t know much about this Gabe Lyons or his organization, and I don’t know why he chose this name for it. It just seems ironically appropriate.

An excellent article in Christianity Today addresses these misguided people and their “Solution.” Matthew Lee Anderson points out that the conference advocated contraceptives because of the epidemic of abortions in evangelical churches. To those who protested that women who get pregnant should have their babies with the help of the church, they respond that no church member is going to be there with that mother when the baby starts to cry at 3 AM.

Please back up a step, Q, Gabe Lyons, and the rest of evangelical and many other kinds of Christianity. Maybe more than a step. You have given all mankind permission to fail. You have said that sin is inevitable. Single people are going to have sex. They are either going to use contraceptives or abort their babies. You have insisted the only way to stop this is with contraceptives. If we leave them alone with a crying baby at 3 AM what else will they be unable to stop themselves from doing?

Please explain to me why Jesus Christ bothered to die on the cross? I thought it was for sin. In fact, I’m sure it was. Even for the sin of being tempted to have sex while unmarried. He not only died for it, He provided the power to overcome it. If abstinence, true chastity and continence are jokes, then so is the Cross of Christ. The Cross, the sacrifice, the atonement, are all so much more than just Jesus “loving us.” Salvation is so much more than us “loving Jesus back.” The atonement is power, crackling supernatural energy to submit to God and do all kinds of amazing things that make sin anything but inevitable. Putting a condom in your pocket or a birth control pill in your mouth, as Anderson says, is admitting you’re going to fail. Wrapping the sheltering wings of Almighty God around you and strapping into place the armor of God is insisting that you’re going to succeed, not by your own power, but by tapping into the ultimate power source.

http://bit.ly/JmrZQG Christianity Today “Why Churches Shouldn’t Push Contraceptives to Their Singles.” Matthew Lee Anderson, posted 4/25/2012 10:46 AM

Gabe Lyons’ website http://bit.ly/JbfF8e

 

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Comments on The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

“But if you tame me, my life will be filled with sunshine. …”
The fox to the Little Prince in the story of that name by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

People have tried to make me like The Little Prince for many years. I have read excerpts from it. Usually I don’t even respond when people quote from it. They seem to know it very well and love it. Some of them are believers. I haven’t read the whole thing, and I didn’t feel qualified to comment.

This is going to anger some people, perhaps hurt some feelings. Since the first time I heard anything from it I knew it was a bad story, with a bad philosophy. It was never a charming fantasy to me. Today someone who is my friend quoted from it again, and I suddenly realized what I’ve been needing to say about it.

The fox claims he wanted to be tamed. He promised to love the Little Prince and said that their relationship would make him better. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works in real life. The following describes people who asked God to give them laws and promised to obey them.

And all the people answered together, and said, “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.” And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. Exodus 19:8

Isaiah later recounts how God dealt with His chosen people, how they returned His love and care for them.

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard.
My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
Isaiah 5:1-7

This is one of those passages hated by people who want a God of love. Even in the Scriptures, people questioned God’s judgment on their sin. Man asked to be tamed, whether by promising to follow the law or by accepting the atonement of Christ and becoming a believer. Part of the process is the purging of sin and rebellion and the purifying of a vessel fit for the Master’s use. But man squirms under this taming and instead invents a god that will be all loving and pleasant, one that will make him special, unique, important like the Little Prince’s rose.

“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye,” says the fox in the same part of the story. Yet the Scriptures say, “The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

I’m sorry, you who love The Little Prince. I can’t let it go as a charming fantasy. It’s philosophy. Everyone admits that. And I have to stand by my original assessment. It’s a bad story, with a bad philosophy.

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