Monday, October 07, 2013

Cruel Christianity?

The Christian claim is simply this:  every person stands guilty before God in some measure. Good deeds cannot atone for bad deeds because one already owes God obedient, righteous, moral behavior. Instead, we must seek forgiveness, and since God is the one offended, we must seek forgiveness on His terms.

The New Testament teaching is that God’s terms involve Jesus, and a rejection of Jesus is a rejection of God’s forgiveness. One who rejects forgiveness is still in his sin; he’s still under judgment.

Here’s a simple way of putting it. One day every single one of us, the morally great and small alike, will stand before God to be judged for his or her crimes, such as they are – some more, some less. Either we pay for them ourselves, or we let Jesus pay for them for us. That’s it. If we refuse forgiveness through Jesus, then we stand alone to endure God’s penalty.

That’s the New Testament teaching. There’s nothing bizarre, unfair, outlandish or cruel about it. The only cruelty is knowing this information and withholding it.

I certainly agree that religion can make people cruel. But that’s only because the religion itself is false and therefore does not reflect God’s morality, or because the religion is true, but its ethics are either misunderstood or misapplied. The latter happens frequently with Christianity. That’s not the fault of its founder, though, or its founding principles; it’s the fault of its followers.(1)

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

Footnotes:

1. Koukl, Greg. Is Christianity Cruel? Clear Thinking. Volume 1 No. 1. Page 17.

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