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Featured Moral Influence and Moral Example Theories of Atonement

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by mcarans, May 15, 2019 at 4:13 AM.

  1. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure what this person means.

    Yes, the example of Jesus on the cross wins us to leave our sins behind and to trust in Him.

    But, also, Jesus on the cross has brought the remission of our sins, by His sacrifice.

    I believe there is Jesus being substituted for us, on the cross, yes. And our Apostle Paul does say Jesus became a curse for us, by hanging on a tree > Galatians 3:13. But I consider how Paul elsewhere says Jesus was "a sweet-smelling aroma", so He was sweetly pleasing our Father to forgive us and reconcile with us.

    So, what I see and consider is yes Jesus was forsaken . . . in situation and surrounding circumstance . . . and by being in the legal position of being cursed on the tree; however, deeply, Jesus was still Jesus who is so pleasing and delighting to our Father. And so, He took our place, our deserved situation, but He did it right . . . sweetly pleasing our Father ! ! !

    So, this would mean Jesus did not suffer all God's wrath, and even as certain ones say, then go to hell to suffer all the torment combined of all of us, in our place. But Jesus, by being pleasing and taking the punishment right, did finish it all on the cross > so there was not need to have wrath exerted upon Him and then for Him to go on to hell's torment. I say it was the big interception, to keep it from going any further. It was "finished", right on the cross . . . because of Jesus Christ's obedience.

    Romans 5:19 > Philippians 2:8 > on the cross, Jesus was obedient; so no way could He become sinful or "sin" in the sense of becoming evil and vile to God. Jesus is God the Son; so He could not change to being otherwise, than perfectly pleasing to our Heavenly Father. Or else, He could change, and God can not change to being evil or sinful > James 1:13&17 < what another early leader says, by the way.

    And if Jesus was being obedient, this would not bring God's wrath, but would turn it away, maybe neutralize it like a lightning rod can ground a bolt of lightning, right through itself without being damaged by the lightning.

    Maybe it was like how Abigail stood up to David and pleased him to stand down from the wrath he was about to execute. She said, the way I consider this now, essentially, "Yes, my husband did such wrong, but now you are dealing with me, and I can make things right, not to mention how you want to be known for being a kind and merciful and gentle and humble king of the LORD."

    Even so, ones refuse God; and so they will need to stay somewhere.
     
  2. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member

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    There are two atonements that I can think of off-hand that involve a blood sacrifice but they are different.

    One is the Penal Substitution Theory.
    This says that Jesus took our place on the cross because God is so mad and wrathful toward humanity that each of us individually should have been hanging on that cross.

    However, since God is Sovereign, the sacrifice of a normal person would not do. Since the offense was so big it required a very big sacrifice--thus Jesus.

    The other is the Satisfaction Theory
    This was proposed by Anselm in the 1100's.
    It's very much like the PST except that instead of being wrathful...the sacrifice of Jesus was to satisfy the JUSTICE of God. Something went wrong and Jesus satisfied, or corrected, what went wrong.

    I'm not saying these are the only two theories that involve a blood sacrifice - it's just the only two that I know of without pulling out my notes.
     
  3. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member

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    There are different theories of atonement...
    Not a one of them (that I know of) includes ALL the concepts in the bible story.

    We just have to know a little about each one and pick and choose.

    Everything you've said above is correct....
    The point is that anything anyone posts WILL BE correct...

    I'm sure the O.P. will agree to this.
     
  4. mcarans

    mcarans Member

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    There is one more, scapegoat theory, which proposes that Jesus sacrifice as a perfect innocent victim reveals to us our sin of scapegoating others to resolve problems in our societies that come about due to our tendency to want things that others have or want.
     
  5. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member

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    OK. I've read about this one.
    It's always seemed to simple to me.
    But this also covers SOME of what the N.T. teaches.
    And certainly seeing "wealth" on TV does create bad feelings in nations where there is not so much material wealth. I put wealth in quotation marks because to someone that has nothing or close to nothing, a middle income home in the U.S. looks like wealth to them.
     
  6. David Cabrera

    David Cabrera Well-Known Member

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    As someone said in another forum, there is no forgiveness of sin if Christ paid the penalty to the Father.
     
  7. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    A primary purpose of Jesus's advent was to reveal the Father, to restore to man the "knowledge of God" that was effectively lost at the Fall. And that was God on the Cross. Everything Jesus said and did reflected God's image, He being the "express image of God". As man comes to know the true God; as the "distorted image" of God that man conceived at the Fall (a teaching I'm familiar with) is overcome and we no longer default to seeing God as strictly angry, aloof in His superiority, "jealous of His prerogatives", etc, and as we begin to recognize His astounding level of love instead in spite of the ugliness of our sin and even the hatred that would have Him dead-and as we begin to value that love, that light in a dark world, we come to believe in and love Him. And this doesn't all happen in us overnight.

    In any case I can't help but think that this is a very important aspect of the atonement, literally "at-one-ment", in the reconciliation of man with God so that justice may be restored to man as he enters a relationship of communion with God, which was always intended as the right order of things.
    "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." John 17:3

    The Cross demonstrates the lengths to which God is willing to go to in order to prove what He should never have had to prove: His existence, goodness, and trustworthiness-His ineffable love for man. In this we have the object of faith, something to believe in, something truly worth believing in.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 1:06 PM
  8. mcarans

    mcarans Member

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    That's a great way of looking at it. That Jesus reveals the Father is a major theme of the subreddit where I posted the OP. You are welcome to join it if it interests you. Cruciformity: the cross is where God is most clearly seen
     
  9. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    There is a reason all these explanations are called and remain theories. A theory is only as good as its explanation of the exceptions. All these “theories” have huge unexplainable “exceptions” in their conclusions.

    Yes, there is a moral influence with Christ going to the cross because everything Christ did, should influence us. The cross is more than just an example, but it is also an excellent example.

    Yes, there is a form of substitution in that all mature adults should be crucified like Christ was crucified for the sins we have personally committed, but it cannot be Penal Substitution since for one reason it would go against the definition of justice and injustice God/Christ have given us throughout scripture.

    Yes, God was satisfied and pleased with Christ’s obedience to the cause even to the point of being tortured, humiliated and murdered, but that does not mean God is blood thirsty, or needing some “condition” to provide unconditional forgiveness to humans. Yes, Penal Substitution also makes God out to be blood thirsty being required for some unjust form of justice.

    Yes, it is literally a ransom scenario since Christ said he was literally a ransom payment for all, but that does not mean it is the “Ransom Theory of Atonement”, with God “paying” satan to have His Children released.

    Yes, “Christus Victorus” (CV) is true in that Christ was victorious over satan, death, hell, sin and evil, but the “Victory” is happening throughout Christ’s live culminated with his resurrection. CV is saying: “Christ had to die (some how some way) so he could rise. When it comes to explaining the atonement sacrifice the supports of “Christus Victorus” will go back to the Ransom Theory of atonement, since it does not explain atonement itself.

    There are six other “theories” of atonement I have studies and looked at, but all have similar huge issues.

    Trying to combine “theories” just adds to the issues, since the conclusions do not cancel each other’s issues out.

    There is good reason to develop a better response, since Muslims heavily depend on their internet “Bible Scholars” to point out all the contradictions in all the common Christian “theories” of atonement. Christ crucified is “foolishness to the unbeliever” (Muslim), but Christians come out looking like fools with such contradictory to scripture explanations.

    Let’s just begin with just one truth:

    Christ said: “to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Christ did not say: “Give my life like a ransom…”

    Paul, Peter, John and the Hebrew Writer all refer to the atonement process as a ransom scenario, so it is.

    I think we all agree:

    Christ’s torture, humiliation and murder are the unbelievable huge payment.

    God/Christ (Deity) is making this huge sacrificial payment.

    A Child of God being set free to enter the Kingdom is the child within the unbeliever, since we all enter the Kingdom as children.

    What we do not agree on is:


    Who is the underserving kidnapper accepting or rejecting this huge ransom payment?

    1. The “Ransom Theory” support will go to great length showing it could not be God or some intangible and yet it has to be paid to someone so they conclude it must be satan.

    At the time this theory was developed many believed there was a continuing war going on in heaven (like there was always wars going on here on earth), so satan took captive, yet God would be victorious in the end. Ransoms were common and frequently paid to the enemy (most remember Caesar at 21 was ransom with a huge payment, but later came back and destroyed the pirates). The problem is: It would actually be wrong for God to pay a “ransom” to satan to have satan set His children “free” since God can just as easily and safely take His children from satan without paying a ransom. God does not “owe” satan anything and satan is not going to change with a payoff.

    2. The Satisfaction and Substitution Theories have the ransom being paid to God, but God is not an undeserving kidnapper. If a payment was being made to God, it would be a “earned” by God payment, so not a ransom. God is not holding His own children back from the Kingdom Home and setting them free to go to Himself, that is an almost silly idea.

    Most believers in God being the receiver of the ransom payment call the ransom scenario a very limited analogy and this part is outside the ransom analogy, yet without a receiver of the ransom it is a very poor “analogy”, so Christ, Paul, Peter, Jon and the Hebrew writer would be misleading us and even more so those of the first century.

    3. Some say: “The ransom is paid to an intangible like death, sin, or evil”, yet intangibles do not need to be “paid” and do not change with payment. Again, it makes a very poor ransom scenario to have an intangible as the underserving kidnapper.



    4. There is another party whom the supporters of the Ransom Theory do not consider, even though they do an excellent job of showing how it is a ransom and God is not the kidnapper. (there are books on line for free, explaining this theory.)



    You have to think about it:

    When you go up to a nonbeliever what are you trying to get Him/her to accept; (A book, a theology, a community, a church, a doctrine) or Jesus Christ and Him crucified?

    Jesus Christ and Him Crucified is literally the ransom payment, so you are trying to get him/her to accept the ransom payment. If they reject this huge ransom payment, a child will not be set free to enter the kingdom and this will upset God. If they accept Christ and Him crucified a child is set free to enter the Kingdom. So, who is the kidnapper holding this child back from the Kingdom?

    The unbeliever is certainly underserving of any ransom payment and is a criminal (kidnapper of God’s child) holing a child out of the Kingdom.

    Atonement is not un-participative, but very participative. The sinner has a part to play which is often left out (this is also how the atonement sacrifice can be for every sinner and yet atonement only takes place for those who accept it).

    Ro. 3:25 explains a lot and understanding the Greek words for the English translated “for” helps. There are lots of scripture on atonement and we can start wit Lev. 5 and go through them all.
     
  10. mcarans

    mcarans Member

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    This is fascinating. Do you have any links you can point to concerning this version of the ransom theory (number 4 in your list)?
     
  11. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What I have gotten simply by reading the Bible is that there needs to be shedding of blood, in order for sins to be remitted.

    And the sacrifice needs to be pleasing to God, not a thing of Him exerting a lot of anger . . . like an abusive parent might feel some need to vent. But Jesus was "a sweet-smelling aroma" > Ephesians 5:2.

    So, I think the Bible provides what would fit with satisfaction of God, not only by justice, but being so pleased with His Son; there is the substitution of Jesus, for us, since only Jesus could take the punishment sufficiently well and therefore be the sacrifice so pleasingly.

    The Bible does say a soft answer turns away wrath, right?

    So, these are things right in the Bible, and they have fit with each other, for me, without any commentary of ones of later history.

    Also, we have Hebrews 2:14-15 which to me shows that Jesus dying on the cross accomplished more than simply getting us forgiven and reconciled with God.

    So, these things are in the Bible, itself, not what has shown up in history after Jesus ascended to Heaven's throne. If anyone else has written anything like this, I have not read it, but it is I think in the Bible; so I would think various people would have discovered and written what I have offered :)
     
  12. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing you've said is wrong.
    You mixed together the Substitution theory and the Satisfaction theory,,,but this isn't a test so you won't fail !

    Even the Moral Influence Theory has blood as a part of it. Jesus dies a horrible death --- we feel sorry for Him and love Him all the more for what He did for us. If He had just been shot in the heart and died, we would have had less empathy for Him.

    It's also true that the bible does NOT have one specific theory in mind...they're all in there; it's theologians that have separated the ideas into individual theories.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 8:05 AM
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  13. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually, the Gospel is not only for us to explain, but it is our example :)
     
  14. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    I did not think I needed one, since it is so obvious.
    I do not look to others for ideas, these are my personal conclusions and thoughts.
     
  15. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    Moral Influence Theory: This is the belief that the atonement of Christ is a demonstration of God’s love which causes man’s heart to soften and repent. Those who hold this view believe that man is spiritually sick and in need of help and that man is moved to accept God’s forgiveness by seeing God’s love for man. They believe that the purpose and meaning of Christ’s death was to demonstrate God’s love toward man. While it is true that Christ’s atonement is the ultimate example of the love of God, this view is unbiblical because it denies the true spiritual condition of man—dead in transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1)—and denies that God actually requires a payment for sin. This view of Christ’s atonement leaves mankind without a true sacrifice or payment for sin.

    Source:
    What are the various theories on the atonement?
     
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