Justice in Christianity?

And the penalty must be paid by someone” (Amy)

Isn’t this kind of scapegoating the concept of justice? Shouldn’t we pay the penalty for our own actions? Isn’t this true responsibility and accountability?

I posted that as a response to the idea all people are sinful and even thinking lustful thoughts needs to be ‘paid for’ by someone – since God is a judge. Well, and I mean this honestly, shouldn’t we pay for our own indiscretions? I don’t make someone pay for my mistakes in this life, why would I make Jesus pay for mine in the next?

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11 thoughts on “Justice in Christianity?

  1. Doesn’t the story told in St. John 8:1-11 subvert the whole idea that someone must “pay” (which is another way of saying that they must be punished or suffer some sort of pain) for an “indiscretion”?

  2. I always read that adultery story as the charges were ‘wrongly accused’ or being ‘wrongfully punished’. Maybe the lady was caught in adultery but there is no reason that stoning has to be the ‘penalty’ (it was only a type of penalty for such an action). Also maybe Jesus saw that penalty as ‘too harsh’ for what had happened since the man was not also sentenced alongside her? In the story it’s all men that walk away.

    I don’t think it subverts the need for us to be responsible for our actions (since Jesus does say ‘go and sin no more’ – likely meaning adultery) – I think the hint of it is in that story. However, it does not mean justice is always going to have to be ‘harsh’ either – sometimes it may be as easy as a warning about what had happened.

    The story reminds me of when someone does something they disliked doing in the first place and then almost pay a heavy toll for it (ie: like going to jail but getting parole instead). The type of learning that is done in those regrets can be pretty immense.

  3. hineni, I think the answer to your question is in Romans 3:21-27. It says that the fact that Jesus died on the cross to pay for sin is the reason why God was able to pass over sins to offer mercy both before and after the cross. It allowed God to be merciful without denying His justice and holiness.

    SocietyVs, I responded to your question on the blog. Thanks!

  4. “It allowed God to be merciful without denying His justice and holiness” (Amy)

    To me, in some ways, Jesus dying for yours and my totality of sin kind of seems ‘unjust’ in some ways. It’s like punishing someone for something they did not do and letting the person who did the crime walk scott free. I used to believe the idea, and in some ways do believe strongly in mercy/grace, but I also believe true responsibility is answering for your actions as well.

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