How do you deal with the Jesus / God The Father dichotomy?

Lucian Hodoboc

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Before answering, watch this video:


How do you deal with the dichotomy created by the penal substitution atonement theory? I'm currently stuck in a marcionist(ic?) perspective that I can't seem to get out of no matter how much I try. Either that, or I'm possessed.

I don't know how to handle this. I've been praying about it often. I love and I'm grateful to Jesus Christ, but feel as if God The Father is an angry, distant, wrathful being Who cannot forgive until He receives blood sacrifices. And the fact that Jesus asked God The Father to take the cup away from Him, and didn't have His prayer answered makes it worse. It makes it seem like God The Father cares more about rules and regulations than about the well-being of His own Son. And I'm required to have complete trust and perfect love for God The Father. I don't know how to do it. I genuinely don't. If I die in this state, I'll be sent to hell for something I don't know how to do.
 

hedrick

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Simple. Penal substitution is wrong. There is nothing in the Bible saying that God needs to punish someone to forgive us. Jesus teaching about God is that he is eager to forgive. Nothing about needing a death first.

Paul says in Rom 3:25 that God overlooked sin until Jesus. In Rom 6 he sees Jesus death as allowing us to die to sin. That is, Jesus death is to fix us, not to allow God to forgive.
 

Josiah

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IMO,

1. None of the various atonement theories is adequate in and of itself (which might be why they are consistently called "theories"). As I've noted many times before, I think we can be certain a human/divine SAVIOR is essential to justification (quite the keystone point of Christianity). And critical is His incarnation/humility/birth and sinless life, His death, and (perhaps most important) His resurrection. But WHY they are is a point Scripture and Tradition are not abundantly clear upon. The "THAT" is very important, but the exact "WHY" is largely mystery - perhaps beyond the ability of puny, fallen, human brains to fully comprehend. And so we are like those blind men feeling an elephant.... Sadly, MYSTERY is a concept our modern world struggles with.

2. The "workings" of the Trinity are yet another Mystery..... best left as such. The Son seems in some ways subject to the Father yet is equal to him (I'd like to say my wife is subject to me but equal to me but she just could read this post and so....). Frankly, I've learned a lot of these questions are really best left as such.


Blessings.


Josiah

.
 

atpollard

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I don't know how to handle this. I've been praying about it often. I love and I'm grateful to Jesus Christ, but feel as if God The Father is an angry, distant, wrathful being Who cannot forgive until He receives blood sacrifices.
So rather than choke on the whole OP, I hope you don’t mind if I nibble at each idea one at a time.

Did Abraham love God more than God loves us?

Abraham climbed to the top of a mountain and was willing to kill his son, the son that God had promised to give him, to prove just how much Abraham loved God and trusted God. Isaac was willing to trust Abraham and God, since it is unlikely that a 100+ year old man could overpower the boy that carried the wood for a sacrifice up the side of a mountain.

Would God refuse to prove His love for the Bride of Christ, by being unwilling to offer the Son of God? That would have made Abraham love God more than God loved Abraham. Would Jesus refuse the sacrifice and prove himself less noble and trusting than Isaac?

“for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” [Mat 26:28 NASB]
The blood of Christ was not shed to quench the hate of an angry Father, it was given willingly to ransom us from slavery and to purchase a purified Bride for a King. The blood of an eternal covenant.
 

atpollard

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And the fact that Jesus asked God The Father to take the cup away from Him, and didn't have His prayer answered makes it worse.
Where did this happen?
Please point to the actual scriptures where you think this took place so we can discuss them.
 

Lucian Hodoboc

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The blood of Christ was not shed to quench the hate of an angry Father,
The majority of Protestants will disagree with you. They prefer the term "wrath", which is righteous anger.
it was given willingly to ransom us from slavery
Who were (are, in the case of nonbelievers) we being held captive by?
and to purchase a purified Bride for a King.
Purchase us from whom or from where? And how does the blood achieve the purification of The Bride, according to you?
The blood of an eternal covenant.
If blood was mandatory for purification, why did the torture and gruesome death had to happen? Why couldn't Jesus just be slightly hurt, shed blood and recover? If death and resurrection were absolutely necessary, what was the point of the torture that preceded it? He could have been killed in a less painful way.
 

hedrick

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The blood of Christ was not shed to quench the hate of an angry Father,
The majority of Protestants will disagree with you. They prefer the term "wrath", which is righteous anger.
I disagree with penal substitution root and branch, but this is an exaggeration of what it means.

Since Calvin is typically considered the originator of penal substitution (though I'm skeptical), I looked through his Institutes for all occurrences of "wrath." It's pretty clear that it does not mean hate, but rather his determination based on justice to punish sin. Because God loves us, he sent Christ to take away the burden of that punishment through his obedience.

"justification by faith is reconciliation with God, and that this consists solely in the remission of sins. We must always return to the axiom, that the wrath of God lies upon all men so long as they continue sinners.
...
sin is a separation between God and man; that His countenance is turned away from the sinner; and that it cannot be otherwise, since to have any intercourse with sin is repugnant to his righteousness. Hence the Apostle shows that man is at enmity with God until he is restored to favour by Christ, (Rom. 5:8–10.) When the Lord, therefore, admits him to union, he is said to justify him, because he can neither receive him into favour, nor unite him to himself, without changing his condition from that of a sinner into that of a righteous man" (Institutes, 3.11.21)
 

Andrew

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I always thought it was beautiful that our God became man on earth rather than other gods like Allah who has never known a human experience
 

atpollard

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The majority of Protestants will disagree with you. They prefer the term "wrath", which is righteous anger.

Who were (are, in the case of nonbelievers) we being held captive by?

Purchase us from whom or from where? And how does the blood achieve the purification of The Bride, according to you?

If blood was mandatory for purification, why did the torture and gruesome death had to happen? Why couldn't Jesus just be slightly hurt, shed blood and recover? If death and resurrection were absolutely necessary, what was the point of the torture that preceded it? He could have been killed in a less painful way.
I made a statement of fact about what the shedding of the blood of Christ actually DID do based on the verse that I provided. You have ignored all of my questions intended to get us closer to WHY. You have ignored the Word of God from the lips of Christ that I have posted. So please excuse me if I ignore your questions offered up in return. I thought we were playing “catch” with a back and forth exchange, when in fact, you simply came to play “fetch”. I have no desire to chase after whatever personal thoughts pop into your head.

The “reader’s digest“ answer to your questions is:

Sin.
Sin and death.
God said so, my opinion is irrelevant.
Blood mandatory for covenant; covenant mandatory for purification.
Asked, answered and ignored.
Asked, answered and ignored.
 

Lucian Hodoboc

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My apology. Your questions were formulated in such a way that they seemed rhetorical to me, so that is why I didn't answer them. I thought you were trying to make a point by asking them, not waiting for actual answers. Here. I'll answer them now.

Did Abraham love God more than God loves us?
Since I know so little about the inner emotions of both of them, I do not know whether Abraham loved God more than God loves us. If I am to formulate an opinion based on what I have been told about God's love by the majority of Christians, my opinion would be that no, Abraham did not love God more than God loves us. The Old Testament tells us that Abraham feared God, and the New Testament mentions that perfect love casts out all fear, so I can logically deduce that Abraham did not feel perfect love for God. Now, since the Bible also says that God is love and that God doesn't fear us or anyone else, I suppose we could conclude that God loves us more than Abraham loved God.

Would God refuse to prove His love for the Bride of Christ, by being unwilling to offer the Son of God?
I don't understand the question because I don't understand the reason for the sacrifice, nor how a multitude of people can constitute a bride for another being. If God is omnipotent and He is also love, then the sacrifice seems illogical to me. Omnipotence gives a being the power to do anything He wants, including to display His love in a way that doesn't involve violence and suffering on His part.

Would Jesus refuse the sacrifice and prove himself less noble and trusting than Isaac?
I don't know. Like I said, I don't understand why any of the sacrifices were required, nor how they relate to love. Testing someone to see if they're obedient is not an act of love, in my opinion. I do not claim that my current opinion is correct, and I am aware that it could be a twisted view caused by the devil or whatever evil force are out there. Nevertheless, I don't know how to make myself see things differently at the present moment.

The “reader’s digest“ answer to your questions is:

Sin.
Sin and death.
God said so, my opinion is irrelevant.
Blood mandatory for covenant; covenant mandatory for purification.
I was told that sin means "missing the mark" and it is an action, a lack of action or a state of being.
Are sin and death beings, so that they can keep other beings captive?
Why is the blood mandatory for the covenant? Why was the covenant mandatory for purification? In what way does the covenant or the blood purify us? For example, when we talk about the washing of a clothing fabric we mean the elimination from the fabric of (most of / all) the particles that were not originally part of it. This is done through the use of water and other chemical substances (detergent) that make the particles break away from the clothing fabric and fall into the water, leaving the fabric without the particles that stained it (which is to say "cleansed"). How does blood function as far as purifying us goes? Blood is a material substance. Life, souls, spirits (from what I've been told) aren't. How does a material substance (blood) contain a non-material thing (life)? How does the (material) blood shed by Jesus purify us of non-material things (sins)? Can you explain the process in a way that is similar to how clothing fabrics are cleansed?
 

atpollard

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You are Eastern Orthodox and I am Particular Baptist. My answers would make no sense to your theological worldview, so you are on your own answering the questions that spring from your rejection of the theological ”givens” that we Reformed see clearly presented in scripture.
 
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