In the second part of the post I looked at the claim that Jesus "paid the fine" with his death so that God could "legally dismiss the case." I pointed out that the "fine" is eternal torture and Jesus only suffered brief torture and then death. I noted that that is hardly "paying the fine."
One of the regular commenters here, Brittany, has finally returned and she had a few things to say regarding this post which I thought was worthy of a full post:
God's Standard of Justice
"By Ray's flawed logic, the greater the punishment, the greater the justice. I can't cite any figures, but for the crime of burglary of some small store I would think a just punishment would be a year or two in prison."I don't think this addresses the point I was making in that Ray's logic is flawed. He's making the argument that since the punishment is so severe, that indicates God's high standard.
Yet what you and I would consider "just" is actually loaded with sin. Our standards of judgement are not pure, and are not right. God's justice is righteousness, and He cleanses out ALL sin.
To Brittany's point, though, what you're arguing is basically that whatever God does is just. (If I'm mistaken, please correct me.) Justice is defined by whatever God does. If this is the case, then any analogy to man's laws or standards (which is my point) is fundamentally flawed. Examine three main components of God's "justice":
* Every crime, no matter what it is, receives a punishment of eternal, infinite torture.
* Even if you were to live a perfect life, you would still receive a punishment of eternal, infinite torture as being born is a crime punishable by death; the sins of the parent are visited upon the child.
* The only -- only -- unforgivable crime is not believing in God. Did you murder, rape, or steal? That's perfectly forgivable as long as you believe in God.
I am not judging these, I am simply pointing these out. Are these his standards? If so, you are asserting that these are the highest standards for the mere fact that they are God's standards. If this is your assertion there is no way for me to argue the justness of them. I could just as easily define whatever I say to be just and there would be no way for you to argue with me as it would be my assertion. I am defining "just" as whatever I do. You are defining "just" as whatever God does.
Man's Standard of Justice
The point of my original post, though, is that God's "standards" are so different from ours that any analogy between ours and his is fundamentally flawed. That's why all of Ray's courtroom analogies where God is the judge and Jesus is the fine-payer are nonsensical. Our standards compared to his are:
* The punishment of a crime depends on the nature and degree of the crime. We do not give liars (perjurers) the same punishment as murderers. We do not give people who run a stop sign the same punishment as rapists.
* If you life a perfect life you will receive no punishment because the crimes of the parent are not visited upon the child.
* There are no forgivable crimes. A crime is a crime and if you are convicted, you will do the time.
What Would Constitute Jesus' Payment of Our Fine?
"I wonder what constitutes "paying the fine"? The punishment is infinite torture, but Jesus was only subjected to temporary torture (and not nearly as bad) and was then put to death. "That's a good question. Well, a million years would not be good enough. The starting point has to be infinite torture. So, if Jesus were tortured eternally, would that be enough to satisfy me? In the realm of Christianity mythology, yes. If Jesus were really paying our fine, I would expect the fine he paid to be the fine levied against us. But I would have a second objection, then, as the numbers don't add up. So, Jesus paid my fine by being tortured eternally -- okay. Now what about you? Jesus paid my fine; why should his payment count twice as much in order to cover you? This is Ray's analogy and it doesn't make sense.
I wander, even if Jesus was subject to torture/death for a million years would that be enough to satisfy you? It seems that you are missing the main point though...Yes Jesus did die for mankinds sin...yet He rose from the dead and defeated death/sin. That is the main point...Jesus defeated the sin of the world...He saved ALL of mankind from death.
It Ain't Easy to Believe & Follow
He gave all mankind eternal life, all He asked in return is that you and I believe in Him and follow His ways. He never said it would be easy.I agree that it is not easy for what he is asking. How am I supposed to believe in him when his own story doesn't make sense? To even begin to consider believing Christianity, I would expect it to at least make sense. As it stands, Christianity makes only a little more sense than Mormonism and a lot less than Judaism.
Free Yourself From Sin
I hope and pray that you recognize the sin in your life, and recognize that the only way to free yourself from that sin is in Christ. Accept Him, and not lean on your own understanding, because man's knowledge is nothing compared to Almighty God's knowledge and wisdom.I recognize that I have a lot of "sin" in my life (as defined by Christianity). I also recognize, though, that Christians sin just as much. If I accept Christ, what would change? I probably wouldn't blaspheme as much, but from what I gather from Christians I see, I would still have a bunch of sin. Being Christian doesn't make you perfect. I'm sure you recognize this too and so what you meant by "free yourself from that sin" is that accepting Christ will remove your responsibility of that sin.
So, as I see it, both you and I sin. We both have sin in our lives. The only difference is that when I die I will be held responsible for that sin whereas you will not because you believed in God. Further beyond that, though, I will be punished for my life which contained sin whereas you will be rewarded for your life which contained sin merely because you believed in God. Is that correct?
If so, I have a follow-up question. If not, I'd like clarification.