“Jesus protects us from the condemnation of the law” (Jim)
So even the woman in that story – who never converted – was also spared – why? (reference to John 8 story about the woman caught in adultery) Is everyone saved from the condemnation of the law – what about death row prisoners who are awaiting death for their crimes – why can’t they be released from the condemnation of the law – even if they convert? (SoVs)
Comment taken from Jim Jordan’s ‘Ian McKellen has more respect for the bible than the ECLA’
I am not sure why I am bringing this up but it seems like a point worth noting. This comment is likely in reference to the idea of penal substitution atonement theory. I guess I have some qualms with some of the thinking….so did this guy from Calvin’s era.
“Faustus Socinus (in 1578), an anti-Trinitarian Italian scholar, declared that Calvin’s description was “irrational, incoherent, immoral and impossible.” His objections were as follows:
- Giving pardon does not square with taking satisfaction;
- There is nothing that conforms with justice about punishing the innocent and letting the guilty go free;
- The temporary death of one is not a substitute for the eternal death of many;
- Perfect substitutionary satisfaction would confer on its beneficiaries an unlimited permission to sin.” (Wikipedia – Penal Substitution theory)
My quest is to find out how this view can skew justice.
The reason it is kind of relevant is because recently there was a shooting in the US of 4 cops that surrounds an aspect of this issue – pardon. It involved a Christian judge and a Christian Congressman…who both allowed the pardon based on some of the aspects of this idea. Now although I don’t think the judge and the congressman are at fault per se – was the idea of justice betrayed by second chances?
You see, in this scenario Jesus takes what the criminal deserves for punishment in God’s court (eternal). The ambigious part of that is ‘when’ does this pardon take effect? Immediately upon confession unto salvation (now)? Or after they die and they are in God’s court (later)? It’s really the difference between justice on this planet being fully realized or not.
See the story of the adulteress is key – from John 8:1-11. Jesus pardons someone in the here and now for their crime (an adulteress). He then puts the conviction of the crime on the people to decide the punishment (no one stones her more or less). However, in matters of the law shouldn’t the law be involved to decide the cases? Now, in our modern day society we can see pardoning the adultress – not neccesarily a crime. However replace adultery with a bank robbery – same pardon? How about murder – same pardon? Likely not.
So if we are free from the condemnation of the law (which is the judgment of the law to penalty in penal substitution) – should we let people out of jail once they convert (at this point Jesus should take their penalty)? Or is this substitution only good for heaven (God’s court) and not for earth (human courts)? And if only heaven, then are human courts superior to God’s court when it comes to dealing justly with a crime? Questions abound.