If you’ve had an abortion, God’s already forgiven you, He’s not holding your sins against you, and you aborted child is already safe in His arms.
I find myself wondering… does our horrible atonement theory contribute to our societies sin of abortion? Maybe I’m connecting dots that aren’t there, but when I think about the fact that many evangelical Christians teach that God poured out His wrath on the Son and turned His back on Jesus on the cross… I’m reminded of Jeremiah’s words in the following three passages and I think about the horrible way that I’ve heard Abraham and Isaac taught, and I wonder if our poor theology has contributed to the millions of abortions in America.
Jeremiah 7:31 “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.
Jeremiah 19:4-6 “Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent 5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind ; 6 therefore, behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-hinnom , but rather the valley of Slaughter.
Jeremiah 32:35 “They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Watch this to understand the problem of abortion…
Watch this to see the mistake we’ve made with bad theology…
Our conversation Sunday this week touched on this. The conversation was highly intense and very important… so I want to touch on this a bit more. This is such a volatile subject, but I think we need to sort this is out no matter how hard this conversation is.
I’m willing to be transparent, because I want to arrive at truth no matter how hard it is for us to get there.
If I’m explaining this totally wrong, I’m still willing to put my thoughts (my understanding) out here in-spite of the possibility that I might be reveal my stupidity. I’m willing to be wrong, in order to learn. Of course I believe passionately what I am sharing.
Please bare with me beyond this statement… you may recoil at it if you don’t get past it… PROMISE TO READ BEYOND THIS STATEMENT OR STOP BEFORE IT. IF YOU STOP WITH THIS STATEMENT YOU’ll MISS MY POINT. Scroll down only if you promise to read beyond this one highly controversial point.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ changed nothing for God.
See prior to the cross God was already willing to forgive; Forgiveness, patience, and love has been God’s modus operandi for all time. His mode of operation is love, patience, and forgiveness. What happened on the cross was known by God before it happened, He wasn’t surprised by it, and He even came to earth in Jesus Christ the Son with that as a part of His plan… but don’t ever think that the action of angry sinful humanity, operating in evil accomplished something! It wasn’t the act of man (crucifixion) that reconciled the world, it was God’s will to reconcile the world to Himself regardless of whether humanity took their sin and anger to the point of deicide (killing God) or not. Yes 2 Corinthians 5:19 is true and beautiful, but it wasn’t the crucifixion that made reconciliation possible. God wanted reconciliation regardless of the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, that means that reconciling was in God’s heart before, during, and after the cross.
What the cross really accomplished was in us, and not in God. God didn’t need proof that He loved us (He knew it), but we needed proof that He was good. Is He safe? No, but He is good. When we see that the cross was God saying even if you kill me on a cross, as a common criminal I’ll still love and forgive you, THEN, and only then are were some convinced to believe and have faith.
I can almost hear you now, but doesn’t the bible say that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin? No it doesn’t! Did I literally hear you quote Hebrews 9:22 just now? No. Did I say that I heard you quote Hebrew 9:22 in the first sentence of this paragraph? No I didn’t, I said I can almost hear you now. Not I can, but I almost can! There is a difference. In Hebrews 9:22 we read, “22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
See, the cross was a instrument of torture, the early church didn’t have crosses hanging around their necks, and they didn’t have crosses as decoration. The early church saw the cross like I see motorcycles. I have a close friend who left earth as the result of a motorcycle and every time I see a street bike (a motorcycle that is used on the road) I think about my friend Danny and I cringe. I wish Danny was here with me still, but I know he is in a better place but I wouldn’t decorate my house with motorcycles because they don’t bring back good memories. The cross, and celebrating the cross is so human of us. It is like celebrating the electric chair. If Jesus would’ve come in a more modern time, he would’ve probably died in an electric chair. Could you imagine electric chairs around people’s necks? Could you imagine singing “At the chair, at the chair, where I first saw the light.” Why is celebrating the cross human of us? Because it is celebrating the thing that man did, and missing the beautiful parts of the story that God did.
I celebrate the incarnation. That was God descending to me.
I celebrate Jesus’ words on the cross. He said “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”
I celebrate the resurrection. It was the resurrection that gives life. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 shows us this… “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
Now can we sing “At the cross,” yes. Sure we can, because it was there (at the cross) that mankind first began to see that God wasn’t mad. Was God mad before the cross and satisfied after the cross? No, God was love before the cross, still loving after it, and God even showed love on the cross by saying “Father forgive them…” God wanted us to receive him by faith as Abraham, Noah, and others did before the cross, just like He wants to receive Him by faith now. The cross didn’t change God, the cross revealed God. At the cross God gave man the proof that man was begging for, God allowed man to kill God (deicide) and He still loved man!
Now, did anything change at the cross. Well for us (in our understanding) everything changed at the cross. At the cross God (His love didn’t begin there, it was just proved there) proved His love for us. Also at the cross the power of sin and death was defeated. Could this have been done another way? I don’t know, but it seems that Jesus took upon Himself somehow the guilt of all sinners from time and eternity past, present, and future and He took them down with Him when He died on the cross. Now, I can’t understand that part of the cross but I can say this. If the story would’ve ended at the cross we would all have no hope. If Jesus dies at the cross and there is no resurrection we are most miserable. 1 Corinthians 15:19 makes that clear. So the cross could have happened and without the resurrection we would be of all men most miserable.
There are various ideas about what happened at the cross. The earliest view is called the ransom theory. CS Lewis, seems to illustrated the ransom theory in his story called the Chronicles of Narnia. Here is a movie clip based on Lewis’ story.
The idea that God poured His wrath out on Jesus on the cross is not biblical, and it was not believed nor taught by early church fathers. That false idea began with Anselm (1033 – 1109AD) and was championed by men like Calvin.
What is the point of this whole idea? Crucifixion wasn’t God’s plan. Crucify His Son, isn’t and wasn’t in His mind, did He know that mankind would crucify Him, yes. But it wasn’t like God was a distant spectator, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself! We’ve got to be careful not to present the good news as a horrible story. I remember as a kid hearing that God poured out His wrath on Jesus on the cross, when I heard that God treated His only begotten Son like that, I questioned why I would want to become His child. What if I were next? When we present the good news, we need to explain the cross as what it was – deicide, not suicide. God allowed mankind to crucify Him, but I don’t believe that God poured out His wrath on Jesus on the cross… and scripture never says He did. I believe that God’s wrath is poured out on sin and death, not on people!