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Old 05-28-2016, 01:47 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
595 posts, read 209,624 times
Reputation: 85

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The metaphors --
1. Judicial: Jesus was punished for our sins in our place.
2. Payment: Jesus' life was a payment of ransom for our liberation.
3. Blood Sacrifice: Jesus was the lamb slaughtered to expiate our sins.
4. Surgical: Jesus was transformed into our sin so it could be destroyed on the cross.

A metaphor uses something which is similar in some ways to help explain something which is not quite the same. So lets go through each as see how they are different and how they are the same.

Different --
1. We don't actually believe that an innocent person punished pays for the crime of the guilty.
2. We don't actually believe that God has to pay something to the devil in order to free us.
3. We don't actually believe that human and animal sacrifices have a magical power.
4. Jesus was not really transformed into sin and neither were our sins actually removed.

Same--
1. Often the innocent suffer because of our sins and this motivates us to change.
2. The atonement makes it clear that God would pay any price for our redemption.
3. Jesus was indeed the unblemished and the very best human being. His death was a painful price to pay for our sins.
4. Sin is a degenerative disease that needs to taken out of our lives before it kills us, and Jesus does represent a treatment for that disease.

While the Eastern Orthodox understand that these are metaphors, Western Christianity tends to take them (especially the first) somewhat literally in defiance of all reason. This is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement the belief in which many Western Christians practically equate with being Christian. It is almost as if, the sacrifice of our intellectual integrity and the acceptance of this blatant cognitive dissonance is the price we have to pay for salvation -- and thus the way they subvert a gospel of salvation by grace to make it a gospel of salvation by a work of the mind.

Because of this I would like to spend a little more time examining this judicial metaphor. For example, this metaphor compares sin with a crime that needs to be punished. But is sin really a crime? No it is not. Many sins are criminal, but there is a difference, and we can even say that the sinful nature of an action is quite different than its criminal nature when they overlap.

Crimes consist of breaking laws which are part of a social contract. What we learn from Jesus in Matthew 5 and Matthew 22 is that sin isn't really about living to the letter of some set of laws, as if the excuse, "I haven't broken any laws", is really a valid excuse for our actions. People are always twisting the laws to an evil purpose and to justify evil and selfish behavior. Thus Jesus shows that sin goes much deeper than the breaking of a set of laws.

Sin is hurtful to us and for that reason they should be stopped. But although many Christians with this judicial metaphor stuck in their head like to say the consequences are deserved, I don't think this is right. I think it is more like this...

We might tell a child not to climb tall trees because they could easily fall and break their neck. If the child climbs a tall tree anyway and falls to his death, then would we say this was a just punishment of a crime? Of course not. The judicial metaphor is a metaphor ONLY and the truth of this comparison only goes so far. Jesus did lay down his life so that we could have eternal life. That is where the metaphor matches reality but where it does not match reality is in the fact that we do not believe criminals should go free just because innocent people are punished in their place -- not unless there is something seriously wrong with you.

The Bible is mixture of many kinds of writings. Not all of it is history and not all of it is law. There is also poetry, songs, parables, dreams, proverbs, and letters. Thus it is full of metaphors whether you pretend otherwise or not. For example, according to 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 104:5, Isaiah 45:18, the earth is fixed, firm, immovable, and can never be shaken. Take this literally and you burn scientists at the stake and pretend that earthquakes don't happen.

So, the question isn't believing the Bible or not but rather how hard headed, "stiff-necked", unreasonable, and willfully blind you are when reading the Bible. Because when you do that you are just like the people Jesus was talking about in Matthew 13 using the literal words to refuse to hear what is meant and returning the text of the Bible back word for word without any investment of thought, like the slothful servant in Matthew 25.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:56 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 646,989 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain View Post
The metaphors --
1. Judicial: Jesus was punished for our sins in our place.
2. Payment: Jesus' life was a payment of ransom for our liberation.
3. Blood Sacrifice: Jesus was the lamb slaughtered to expiate our sins.
4. Surgical: Jesus was transformed into our sin so it could be destroyed on the cross.

A metaphor uses something which is similar in some ways to help explain something which is not quite the same. So lets go through each as see how they are different and how they are the same.

Different --
1. We don't actually believe that an innocent person punished pays for the crime of the guilty.
2. We don't actually believe that God has to pay something to the devil in order to free us.
3. We don't actually believe that human and animal sacrifices have a magical power.
4. Jesus was not really transformed into sin and neither were our sins actually removed.

Same--
1. Often the innocent suffer because of our sins and this motivates us to change.
2. The atonement makes it clear that God would pay any price for our redemption.
3. Jesus was indeed the unblemished and the very best human being. His death was a painful price to pay for our sins.
4. Sin is a degenerative disease that needs to taken out of our lives before it kills us, and Jesus does represent a treatment for that disease.

While the Eastern Orthodox understand that these are metaphors, Western Christianity tends to take them (especially the first) somewhat literally in defiance of all reason. This is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement the belief in which many Western Christians practically equate with being Christian. It is almost as if, the sacrifice of our intellectual integrity and the acceptance of this blatant cognitive dissonance is the price we have to pay for salvation -- and thus the way they subvert a gospel of salvation by grace to make it a gospel of salvation by a work of the mind.

Because of this I would like to spend a little more time examining this judicial metaphor. For example, this metaphor compares sin with a crime that needs to be punished. But is sin really a crime? No it is not. Many sins are criminal, but there is a difference, and we can even say that the sinful nature of an action is quite different than its criminal nature when they overlap.

Crimes consist of breaking laws which are part of a social contract. What we learn from Jesus in Matthew 5 and Matthew 22 is that sin isn't really about living to the letter of some set of laws, as if the excuse, "I haven't broken any laws", is really a valid excuse for our actions. People are always twisting the laws to an evil purpose and to justify evil and selfish behavior. Thus Jesus shows that sin goes much deeper than the breaking of a set of laws.

Sin is hurtful to us and for that reason they should be stopped. But although many Christians with this judicial metaphor stuck in their head like to say the consequences are deserved, I don't think this is right. I think it is more like this...

We might tell a child not to climb tall trees because they could easily fall and break their neck. If the child climbs a tall tree anyway and falls to his death, then would we say this was a just punishment of a crime? Of course not. The judicial metaphor is a metaphor ONLY and the truth of this comparison only goes so far. Jesus did lay down his life so that we could have eternal life. That is where the metaphor matches reality but where it does not match reality is in the fact that we do not believe criminals should go free just because innocent people are punished in their place -- not unless there is something seriously wrong with you.

The Bible is mixture of many kinds of writings. Not all of it is history and not all of it is law. There is also poetry, songs, parables, dreams, proverbs, and letters. Thus it is full of metaphors whether you pretend otherwise or not. For example, according to 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 104:5, Isaiah 45:18, the earth is fixed, firm, immovable, and can never be shaken. Take this literally and you burn scientists at the stake and pretend that earthquakes don't happen.

So, the question isn't believing the Bible or not but rather how hard headed, "stiff-necked", unreasonable, and willfully blind you are when reading the Bible. Because when you do that you are just like the people Jesus was talking about in Matthew 13 using the literal words to refuse to hear what is meant and returning the text of the Bible back word for word without any investment of thought, like the slothful servant in Matthew 25.

Why are you talking in the "we" form? Are you representing all Christians? Maybe you could start by saying it's your opinion, instead of "we" believe this or that. Especially when you're denying one of the basic Biblical foundational truths as a "metaphor". The Bible clearly teaches the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins as an actual reality, an actual payment for actual sins, and not a metaphor. And I thank God for that, otherwise nobody would be saved.


2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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Old 05-28-2016, 03:49 AM
 
7,856 posts, read 6,660,208 times
Reputation: 1371
God had a plan , as He was separate from man because of sin in the world which is alien to God , so all then all men will die in their sin separated from God ....... So God put a part himself in the earth by being born in the earth , where Jesus was born ....... Then Jesus later had a new ministry of Christ which He proclaimed in the land .......... But through the sin of envy the leaders had Jesus , and innocent Man which was God in the flesh put to death on the cross , where God raised him up , and Jesus paid the price ........ See this murder by envy was under the spiritual authority of the devil ........ So God made the murder of Jesus an innocent man a judgment for all who will go to Jesus and repent of sin by being born of water and then born by the spirit of Christ ............. See by taking a side against the devil and his sin for man and taking a side of Jesus to God is this judgment of God for nothing but the blood of Jesus will men be redeemed ......................This spiritual wisdom of the cross come by Gods plan by Isaiah 53
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:55 AM
 
14,985 posts, read 7,526,891 times
Reputation: 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanokh View Post
Why are you talking in the "we" form? Are you representing all Christians? Maybe you could start by saying it's your opinion, instead of "we" believe this or that.
Relax. It was clear from his post that the "we" refers to Eastern Orthodox.

Very informative post, Mitchell. I've often wondered about the EO view of atonement, so I appreciate your clear and concise overview.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:23 AM
 
17,658 posts, read 8,860,686 times
Reputation: 1485
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain View Post
The metaphors --
1. Judicial: Jesus was punished for our sins in our place.
2. Payment: Jesus' life was a payment of ransom for our liberation.
3. Blood Sacrifice: Jesus was the lamb slaughtered to expiate our sins.
4. Surgical: Jesus was transformed into our sin so it could be destroyed on the cross.

A metaphor uses something which is similar in some ways to help explain something which is not quite the same. So lets go through each as see how they are different and how they are the same.

Different --
1. We don't actually believe that an innocent person punished pays for the crime of the guilty.
2. We don't actually believe that God has to pay something to the devil in order to free us.
3. We don't actually believe that human and animal sacrifices have a magical power.
4. Jesus was not really transformed into sin and neither were our sins actually removed.

Same--
1. Often the innocent suffer because of our sins and this motivates us to change.
2. The atonement makes it clear that God would pay any price for our redemption.
3. Jesus was indeed the unblemished and the very best human being. His death was a painful price to pay for our sins.
4. Sin is a degenerative disease that needs to taken out of our lives before it kills us, and Jesus does represent a treatment for that disease.

While the Eastern Orthodox understand that these are metaphors, Western Christianity tends to take them (especially the first) somewhat literally in defiance of all reason. This is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement the belief in which many Western Christians practically equate with being Christian. It is almost as if, the sacrifice of our intellectual integrity and the acceptance of this blatant cognitive dissonance is the price we have to pay for salvation -- and thus the way they subvert a gospel of salvation by grace to make it a gospel of salvation by a work of the mind.

Because of this I would like to spend a little more time examining this judicial metaphor. For example, this metaphor compares sin with a crime that needs to be punished. But is sin really a crime? No it is not. Many sins are criminal, but there is a difference, and we can even say that the sinful nature of an action is quite different than its criminal nature when they overlap.

Crimes consist of breaking laws which are part of a social contract. What we learn from Jesus in Matthew 5 and Matthew 22 is that sin isn't really about living to the letter of some set of laws, as if the excuse, "I haven't broken any laws", is really a valid excuse for our actions. People are always twisting the laws to an evil purpose and to justify evil and selfish behavior. Thus Jesus shows that sin goes much deeper than the breaking of a set of laws.

Sin is hurtful to us and for that reason they should be stopped. But although many Christians with this judicial metaphor stuck in their head like to say the consequences are deserved, I don't think this is right. I think it is more like this...

We might tell a child not to climb tall trees because they could easily fall and break their neck. If the child climbs a tall tree anyway and falls to his death, then would we say this was a just punishment of a crime? Of course not. The judicial metaphor is a metaphor ONLY and the truth of this comparison only goes so far. Jesus did lay down his life so that we could have eternal life. That is where the metaphor matches reality but where it does not match reality is in the fact that we do not believe criminals should go free just because innocent people are punished in their place -- not unless there is something seriously wrong with you.

The Bible is mixture of many kinds of writings. Not all of it is history and not all of it is law. There is also poetry, songs, parables, dreams, proverbs, and letters. Thus it is full of metaphors whether you pretend otherwise or not. For example, according to 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 104:5, Isaiah 45:18, the earth is fixed, firm, immovable, and can never be shaken. Take this literally and you burn scientists at the stake and pretend that earthquakes don't happen.

So, the question isn't believing the Bible or not but rather how hard headed, "stiff-necked", unreasonable, and willfully blind you are when reading the Bible. Because when you do that you are just like the people Jesus was talking about in Matthew 13 using the literal words to refuse to hear what is meant and returning the text of the Bible back word for word without any investment of thought, like the slothful servant in Matthew 25.
Things are not always as they appear.
A
careful observation is prudent.


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Old 05-28-2016, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
595 posts, read 209,624 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
Relax. It was clear from his post that the "we" refers to Eastern Orthodox.

Very informative post, Mitchell. I've often wondered about the EO view of atonement, so I appreciate your clear and concise overview.
Not exactly. By "we" I refer to the vast majority of sane civilized people. It is true this is not the case of all people in history.

1. In medieval Europe people employed whipping boys to pay for the sins of another.
2. For the Zoroastrians good/light and evil/darkness are equal powers to negotiate.
3. Many historical religions believed that human and animal sacrifices had magical powers.
4. I can well believe that some self-righteous legalistic xtians believe they are without sin. You can see it in the way they pass judgment on everyone else. Apparently Jesus needs to do something in the dirt to point to remind them of a few facts. And the witnesses at the cross testafied that this must be an innocent man who died there.

But I think it is obvious and observable that the vast majority of people alive today are more rational than this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chanokh View Post
Why are you talking in the "we" form? Are you representing all Christians? Maybe you could start by saying it's your opinion, instead of "we" believe this or that. Especially when you're denying one of the basic Biblical foundational truths as a "metaphor". The Bible clearly teaches the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins as an actual reality, an actual payment for actual sins, and not a metaphor. And I thank God for that, otherwise nobody would be saved.


2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1. Yes Chanokh has informed me that he will not hold it against anyone if they rob him, rape his daughters and murder his family -- as long a they provide a patsy to take the blame.
2. Perhaps Satan is the greater power in his life also and can extort payment from the god he worships.
3. Does he also slaughter animals and people on a full moon to obtain forgiveness and mojo?
4. From his quotation, Chanokh apparently wants us to understand that it wasn't the Son of God who died on the cross but only his dirty secrets and petty indiscretions.

This is the problem with hardheaded literalism. It requires the sacrifice of critical thought which does not affirm blatantly contradictory propositions. And what is the reason to live with all this cognitive dissonance?

Is it just a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "metaphor?" That these 4 things are metaphors does not take away in the slightest the truth of what they proclaim. Jesus was innocent of any crime and did indeed die in our place for the expiation of our sins. The point is that we don't have to believe in whipping boys and human sacrifice in order to believe this. What is the big deal? I will tell you. It is all about legalism and using religion as a tool of power and manipulation. For that to work you have to make salvation rest upon criterion that you can demand of people -- whether it is submission to church rituals or their dictation what you must or must not believe.

Or perhaps it is really a stand against rationality altogether. After all, for a lot of these hard-headed redneck literalists this sort of thing is just practice for other irrationalities like ignoring all the objective evidence to assert that the Earth is a flat four cornered table created by magic 6000 years ago.
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:09 PM
 
8,536 posts, read 11,869,117 times
Reputation: 3081
I would completely disregard anything about Atonement. Jesus and Paul discredited the old laws so severely, that even the idea of Jesus being a supernatural Atonement should discredited. Supernatural tales are just parables for our attitudes towards humanity and all living things.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:27 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 646,989 times
Reputation: 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchellmckain View Post

1. Yes Chanokh has informed me that he will not hold it against anyone if they rob him, rape his daughters and murder his family -- as long a they provide a patsy to take the blame.
2. Perhaps Satan is the greater power in his life also and can extort payment from the god he worships.
3. Does he also slaughter animals and people on a full moon to obtain forgiveness and mojo?
4. From his quotation, Chanokh apparently wants us to understand that it wasn't the Son of God who died on the cross but only his dirty secrets and petty indiscretions.

This is the problem with hardheaded literalism. It requires the sacrifice of critical thought which does not affirm blatantly contradictory propositions. And what is the reason to live with all this cognitive dissonance?

Is it just a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "metaphor?" That these 4 things are metaphors does not take away in the slightest the truth of what they proclaim. Jesus was innocent of any crime and did indeed die in our place for the expiation of our sins. The point is that we don't have to believe in whipping boys and human sacrifice in order to believe this. What is the big deal? I will tell you. It is all about legalism and using religion as a tool of power and manipulation. For that to work you have to make salvation rest upon criterion that you can demand of people -- whether it is submission to church rituals or their dictation what you must or must not believe.

Or perhaps it is really a stand against rationality altogether. After all, for a lot of these hard-headed redneck literalists this sort of thing is just practice for other irrationalities like ignoring all the objective evidence to assert that the Earth is a flat four cornered table created by magic 6000 years ago.
The fact that you have to argue as ridiculous and purposely offensive as that makes me wonder who the greater power in your life is.

Just for clarity, a metaphor according to merriam websters dictionary:
* a word or phrase for one thing that is used to refer to another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar
* an object, activity, or idea that is used as a symbol of something else

God had provided a real sacrifice for real sins, anyone can be forgiven if they believe in Jesus Christ. It is not a metaphor, when you believe in Jesus Christ, He paid the penalty for your actual sins. Its the exact opposite of legalism that says you have to live a perfectly sinless life according to the Law, so you might be accepted by God. They lay up burdens impossibly to carry, but the grace of God is that Christ carried our sins so we would be freed from the curse of the law. If you don't believe in the real atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you still believe you are under the curse of the law. However when you do believe Jesus Christ bore your sins, you know you are free by grace, and you will serve Him out of love and obey Him and His Law out of gratitude, not because it has power to condemn anymore.

Where did I ever say I believed in whipping boys or animal sacrifice? You are just making these ridiculous accusations and misrepresentations of what I believe, as if that would give more credit to your metaphor theory?
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Old 05-29-2016, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
15,540 posts, read 6,992,023 times
Reputation: 1603
"We" clearly refers to those who have not been brainwashed by currently popular theology.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:22 AM
 
14,985 posts, read 7,526,891 times
Reputation: 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
"We" clearly refers to those who have not been brainwashed by currently popular theology.
Okay, so the "we" was a little more inclusive than I was giving it credit for.
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