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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Brittany: How Much Should Jesus Have Suffered?

In The People vs Joe the Plumber earlier this week, I looked at Ray's claim that the indication that God has high standards of justice is his severe punishment for even minor infractions (e.g. infinite torture for one lie).

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."

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.
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.

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. "

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.
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.

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.

1 comment:

Brittany said...

Hi,

"* Every crime, no matter what it is, receives a punishment of eternal, infinite torture."

Sin, either it be great or small, is still, in the end: sin. Do you agree?

I asked this question before but I am not sure I got a reply.

Every human that sins, and that amounts to every human being on earth, except Christ(for He was a perfect human without sin) deserves to be punished for their sin. Yet, God in his graceful mercy allowed His one and only Son, Christ, to take the worlds sin on His shoulders. God, in His mercy, gave us an escape from sin, He gave us an escape from death.

"* 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."

When you say "to live a perfect life", I presume that you measure what a perfect life is by the worlds standards. Gods standards of a perfect life is represented through Christ's life.

"* 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."

More to the point-many people believe that there is a God, but do not believe in His Son. There are many religions that believe that Jesus Christ was a man only, not from God, but this is where they are wrong, for God only forgives those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus said: John 14:6

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me."

"I am defining "just" as whatever I do. You are defining "just" as whatever God does."

Yes, because God's form of justice and righteousness is the highest. Your (mankinds) form of justice, however right it may seem, will always be flawed with sin.

"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."

Yet, if Jesus was tortured or put to death for eternity, then mankinds salvation would not be fulfilled. So you see... if that were so...Christ would not have defeated death/sin, and death/sin would be victorious.

" 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."

John 3:16

God so loved the WORLD (all of mankind) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.

God does not just select a few people to be saved, for that would be unfair...He gave the whole world, the opportunity to choose Him.

"I also recognize, though, that Christians sin just as much. If I accept Christ, what would change?

As a Christian it is our duty to imitate Christ, yes we make mistakes and we do sin, but we have assurance that God will indeed forgive us of our sins through Christ. That does not mean that I can go and sin as much as I want...and then just simply ask for forgiveness...for God knows are most inner thoughts and He knows the true intentions of our hearts. Accepting Christ will forever change you. You will see the world in a new light, your attitude will change...you will strive for righteousness in your life...Jesus offers everything that is good and pure...accepting Him will change your life like never before.

"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."

Yes, you will be held responsible for all the sin in your life. God will judge you and He will give you the sentence that you deserve, and God's justice for sin is eternal torture.

I will also be judged for all the sin in my life. Yet this is where we differ...because Jesus, by my side, will take my sins and take them as His own, freeing me from sin and allowing me to escape God's wrath against sin.

Sorry so long, I hope you have a safe and great day!

In Christian Love,
Brittany