Post Number: 14376
|Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 12:50 pm: || |
I feel as if I've been gone forever; last week we were in Colorado for the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions annual conference, and then this week Richard and I were slammed with a virus of some sort...can't figure out where we picked it up: the plane, perhaps? Anyway, our fevers have finally broken and we're starting to be up.
This morning we listened to the sermon from LLU Church. This week the sermon was delivered by Jon Paulien, dean of the School of Religion at LLU. Paulien, some of you may remember, was the one who gave a sermon in 2008 at the 150th anniversary event in the Ohio Conference commemorating the Great Controversy Vision. The weekend was entitled "The Love Of The Ages", and Paulien's talk showed how the "remnant" would have contributions from Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. He was making a case for seeing Islam, as one of the three monotheistic religions, as contributing to and making up part of the remnant.
Well, today Paulien preached on the cross and the atonement. In brief here is the essence of what I gleaned. The Bible has many metaphors for atonement. In the OT, atonement centered on the sanctuary and the way blood was moved through the sanctuary and applied. Blood, however, was not the only metaphor of atonement. One could have atonement also by offerings of grain, oil, setting an animal free (I believe he meant the scapegoat, although he didn't specify), and so forth.
In the NT, he said, we have the metaphor of the cross. Again, it is not the only metaphor of atonement, but we should not allow our "favorite" metaphor to negate or eclipse the metaphors that are meaningful to other people.
Then he talked about what the cross did. The cross, he said, was where God bore our pain. On the cross Jesus gave meaning to all our suffering. He bore all our pain, and He died. Then He rose from the grave, His resurrection giving us the hope of our own resurrections and the promise that our sufferings will eventually be ended and we'll be given a glorious destination after all we've endured.
He NEVER spoke of sin, and he never mentioned that the cross was about Jesus paying the price for sin. Rather, it was a demonstration of His compassion and empathy, of His redemption of our pain. He suffered all our pain and showed us that we'll also be resurrected from our suffering and death.
In his prayer he prayed that everyone would embrace the metaphor of atonement that most powerfully speaks to them.
Now, this sermon was not primarily "Adventist"; it was liberal "Christianity". But it perfectly meshes with classic Adventism, because Adventist doctrine does not have Jesus' blood doing much of anything except moving our sins around, from us to heaven and finally onto Satan. Moreover, Adventist doctrine has Jesus' death primarily as a down-payment, a preliminary act that begins the process of knowing God.
Like the Garden of Grace at Andrews University that is laid out to bring the worshiper into the garden, past the cross, and on to the Father depicted by the Law, Adventism teaches that the cross was what convicts us of our guilt.
Think about it: classic Adventism caused us to feel guilt and squirminess at communion. The cross was "icky" and guilt-producing: "Look what your sins did to Jesus!"
In Adventism, they've reversed the gospel: the cross is the guilt-producing mechanism to convince us that we're sinful and awful; the law, then, is where we truly find God. It's the transcript of His character; in law-keeping is our security and righteousness and ultimate atonement.
The gospel, however, says that the law is what convicts—and even increases— sin. The cross is where we see the truth about God. Jesus is the transcript of God's "character". We find atonement at the cross.
And underlying all of this is the true nature of man: hopelessly dead in sin and in need of a Savior. We do not need any demonstration of God's compassion or the reassurance that our suffering will have meaning. Unless we are brought from death to life, such reassurance is impossible, and if a person is spiritually dead, being told Jesus bore our suffering and we're have a resurrection one day is not comforting.
We need life. The cross was ALL about God demonstrating His great love to us by Jesus become sin for us and breaking the curse of the law: death for sin. The resurrection is not just a promise for the future; it's the source of our new birth. Because Jesus died as a propitiation for our sin, we can now be reconciled to God. His resurrection is the proof that His sacrifice was enough and sufficient for all sin. We, too, will pass from death to life when we repent and receive Jesus' blood as our payment for sin.
When we embrace Him as Lord and Savior, we pass from death to life (Jn. 5:24).
It's horrifying to me to hear the cross demeaned as Paulien demeaned it today.
Post Number: 675
|Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 3:49 pm: || |
Why did 'Catholic' and 'new age' come to mind as I read this?
Post Number: 1065
|Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 1:06 pm: || |
Yes, it is horrifying that Jon Paulien, chose to demean the Cross! I think it is also blasphemous!
According to the Apostle Paul in 1Corinthians 1:18 he writes, " For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the manifestation of the power of God." (Amplified Bible).
The Cross shows us the Perfect Justice and Perfect Mercy of GOD.
We should be "Cross" focused~ we should not minimize the Cross, but Magnify the Cross~
Post Number: 399
|Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2013 - 3:00 pm: || |
My sda kin don't acknowledge Paul. They say Pauls writings were not intended by God to be included in the Bible.
Post Number: 53
|Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 - 5:49 am: || |
Pauls writings are not the only place grace is mentioned in the scripture. In John the 3rd chapter Jesus said "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
No mention of the law.
Post Number: 3060
|Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 - 1:53 pm: || |
Punababe808; ask them why Peter refered to Paul's letters as scripture - 2 Peter 3:15-16
Post Number: 402
|Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 - 9:52 pm: || |
I really have just gotten to the point with the SDA kin that when anything about religion or having to to with religion I leave the room or conveniently fall asleepw.
Post Number: 3062
|Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 12:20 pm: || |
I guess I shouldn't be surprised at that. The Bible contradicts Islam, so Muslims teach their people that the Bible has been "corrupted."
The Bible also contradicts the LDS church, so their leaders teach their people that "the Bible is true, in so far as it's been translated correctly."
So if the more conservative SDAs take Paul out of the picture, they can more easily teach works. Of course, in order to defend their "works theology, they would need to take Jesus out of the picture too, because He contradicted both works AND the investigative judgment in John 5:24.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life."
That way, people believe them instead of the Bible...
Post Number: 509
|Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 12:46 pm: || |
anyone whose religion is based on accusing their foundational scriptures as being corrupt have no leg to stand on. If the bible is corrupt then all other additions are corrupt. It amazes me and saddens me how people can just blindly believe the claims made by these other denominations, religions and cults. If the foundation is bad the whole house crumbles.
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 2:45 pm: || |
After reading Colleens words I wonder what you think of this: yesterday I was contemplating buying a small cross to wear (I don't usually wear any jewelery, even a wedding ring) as I looked at the variety, some with Christ and some without, I struck by the thought that there might be a significance to an empty cross. It is not a fully formed thought mind you! I had a feeling that the empty cross more fully symbolises the completion of Jesus work. I didn't buy one yet but I am drawn to a very simple empty cross.
Post Number: 1067
|Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 3:32 pm: || |
My understanding, is that a Christian's "Cross" of choice, is one that does not have
CHRIST embellished on it~
On the other hand, a Catholic often chooses a "cross" with a CHRIST embellishment on it and it
is called a "crucifix."
Although this is not always the case, as far as a Catholic is concerned.
Post Number: 14382
|Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 5:06 pm: || |
I agree, Mj. Cazperth, there is a huge significance to the empty cross. It definitely symbolizes the completed work of Jesus. He is not still bleeding and dying for us. His blood was shed once for all!
Post Number: 1011
|Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 5:27 pm: || |
At either our Good Friday or Easter service a few weeks ago (can't remember which), Dr. Sproul explained why we Protestants do not have Jesus on our crosses in our churches:
In Catholic doctrine, the Lord's Supper is a re-sacrificing of Jesus Christ. Jesus must continually be re-sacrificed to appease God. Thus, Jesus still appears on their crosses because He must continually be sacrificed for sins in order to secure God's approval.
However, in Hebrews the Bible teaches clearly that Jesus died as a sacrifice once for all:
For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
...nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him."
This is why Protestant churches don't have Jesus on their crosses. His absence from our crosses symbolizes that He has made the sacrifice "once for all," justifying us forever through His death and resurrection. He has said, "It is finished." Therefore, the empty cross symbolizes that His sacrifice is completely finished and eternally effective for us.
Post Number: 403
|Posted on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 7:17 pm: || |
Many where I attend (both ELCA and UCC) -wear the empty cross necklace during the year and the.crucifix cross through Lent taking it off Easter morning . It's a visual and tangible reminder of how it is.
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 3:10 am: || |
That is really interesting! I must have subconsciously associated the crucifix with Catholicism. Thank you for the responses.
And Colleen I am glad to hear you are feeling better!