17 August, 2006

Atonement: Let's Move On

There are some things that just make you want to weep. For me, it is all the false teaching out there. These days, it seems you can't swing a dead cat without hitting on false teaching of our precious Gospel.

The following is part of a Q&A from Brian McLaren's website. (Click on the header to go there) where he is answering a question about his personal theory of Atonement:

Q. Could you elaborate on your personal theory of atonement? If God wanted to forgive us, why didn’t he just forgive us? Why did torturing Jesus make things better?

A. This is such an important and difficult question. I’d recommend, for starters, you read “Recovering the Scandal of the Cross” (by Baker and Green). There will be a sequel to this book in the next year or so, and I’ve contributed a chapter to it.

Short answer: I think the gospel is a many faceted diamond, and atonement is only one facet, and legal models of atonement (which predominate in western Christianity) are only one small portion of that one facet.

Dallas Willard also addresses this issue in “The Divine Conspiracy.” Atonement-centered understandings of the gospel, he says, create vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else. He calls us to move beyond a “gospel of sin management” – to the gospel of the kingdom of God. So, rather than focusing on an alternative theory of atonement, I’d suggest we ponder the meaning and mission of the kingdom of God. (Emphasis mine)

So Mr. McLaren thinks Atonement is a "legal' model of the Gospel? And only ONE facet. (It is the most important one because without the sacrifice Jesus made to stand in for us, you and I could not get to heaven.)

And wow, Dallas Willard thinks those of us who believe in Substitutionary Atonement are vampire Christians!

Mr. Willard thinks we should think less about sin (who isn't these days?) and more about the mission of the Kingdom of God. What would that mission be here on earth? That is the big question.

But using logic, one can see that if we DO focus on repentence or sin 'management' as he terms it, we would have more 'Kingdom of God' as he terms this mythical heaven on earth. (That will never be before Jesus comes back)

But we have a problem, we are continual sinners like Paul who '...does what he does not want to do'. And, the wages of sin are death! What to do? Is that good advice, Mr. Willard....to focus less on sin management? (Can one manage sin?) Don't scriptures tell us to become more Holy?

Our 'sin management' as he calls it is to grow more Christ-like. To repent and through Christ, change our hearts. If we are Christians we should HATE our sin and beg God to change our hearts. Not manage it.

By the way, is Willard suggesting that has happened to most Christians and the work is done so we can move on to the 'mission' of bringing heaven to earth?

Can we really move beyond the whole Gospel? The full counsel of God? (Acts) Without Holiness...no one will see God. (Hebrews) If one does not understand Atonement, one does not understand what our Lord did for us.

Please think of this: While on the Cross, Our Lord took our sins upon Himself. He became sin for us. When that happened, God withdrew from Him. God cannot look upon Sin. He is too Holy. That is why Jesus cried out, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" Or, My God, My God, Why has Thou Forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27 and Mark 15)

That is just how serious Atonement is:

Romans-The whole book!
Isaiah 53:5 -"But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed." (ESV)
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 - "For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." (ESV)
1 Peter 2:24 -"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." (ESV)

These people are wolves in sheeps clothing. Do NOT be deceived. God will not be mocked. And Don't buy their books!


luvvom said...

Too tired to read his stupid answers. Your are better and more intelligent.

Lindon said...

Nope, just a student here. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit will open our eyes to false teaching if we beg for wisdom.

mkbeak said...

He just keeps talking and talking and talking and not really saying anything. Why does he try to make the simple truth so muddy and complicated?

Lindon said...

Because it sells books? Beside the fact it is heresy...it is just downright annoying.

Funny thing, I was thinking of this today: How exciting the scripture are. I can read a book over and over and over and glean something new each time.

Now, listening to McLaren: Snore.