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Christians, can you please explain how you find the concept of substitutional atonement ethical?

I would like hear how accepting the unnecessary sacrifice and suffering of an innocent (Jesus's death and resurrection) and using it for your own personal gain (i.e., eternal life with God) is ethically acceptable to you. *The sacrifice was unnecessary because God is supposedly omnipotent.* And why do you think accepting this is a good thing to do? Is it purely for your own soul's survival, or was the action (and God's demand of it) itself good?

Answer Question

Asked by SlightlyPerfect at 7:03 AM on Nov. 17, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 10 (473 Credits)
Answers (33)
  • I believe that God laid out a plan to test us, if given the choice to follow him or not would we return. He created us, he knew us and he knew our natures so well that he knew we would not be overcome the nature of the physical form. And so Christ as his son CHOSE to come down to earth and be tempted the same as we would and knowingly suffer death so that when the day of judgement comes we will be able to stand before the father and be looked upon as one of his becuase his son will be able to say, I have interceded on his behalf and he has chosen the right.
    That said, I don't believe that those who never know or choose not to follow will be completely cast out. But only those who choose the path as heavenly father laid it out will be able to reach the fullest degree of the glory he intended for us.
    I also believe that those who do not get the chance in this life, will get thechance in the life beyond. Thus family history.

    Answer by JadeRDragosani at 7:37 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • So, Jade, your accepting of the unnecessary sacrifice for your own benefit is how you are choosing to answer this "test"? I don't understand why. See, I find it morally deplorable to take the unnecessary suffering of an innocent and use it for my own personal gain. Also, I simply don't see how subjecting someone to avoidable trauma can be ethical, so I reject God as a result. But you do not, and so I am curious as to why.

    Comment by SlightlyPerfect (original poster) at 7:41 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • You're the one who is deciding it's "unnecessary because God is supposedly omnipotent". I say it is necessary because it's God's chosen way of redemption. It's necessary for me because it's the only option other than Hell, I can't be good enough on my own, and my own death, which I deserve, would be eternal, where as Christ was able to come back to life in 3 days. Ethical or not it was a loving thing to do and it's already done and I appreciate that God did it for me.

    Answer by mybella81 at 7:45 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • Good question. My husband would love this as he's taking an ethics course and is really enjoying ethical debate. I'm not christian so can't answer but here's a bump!

    Answer by Xynyth at 7:48 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • Also, it's not entirely just me accepting his sacrifice so I can go on and live my life as I please with a "get out of jail free card." The Bible says that Jesus bought us when we died on the cross (or at least those who choose to follow him) My body is not my own anymore. When I asked Jesus to save me, I didn't just ask him to cover my sin, I gave my life to him. I am not my own, I was bought at a price. A very expensive price. I am obligated to obey Jesus in anything he asks me to do, although I often fail. The Bible compares it to serventhood, but adoption as well. Thankfully God is a loving and forgiving father, as well as my master.

    Answer by mybella81 at 7:50 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • I read my scriptures, I feel truth in what they say and teach. They give me peace that I am loved by a being of such power that he couldn't force us to stay and not grow but knew in letting us go would be lost so insteand allowed a bridge in the form of his son. If the price is already paid, why wouldn't you take it if you believe that it is the only way? Would you view it as ethical to force a child to remain forever a baby, to never know the joy of happiness that can only be made sweet by the sorrow of despair? Would you cast your children aside completely if your nature was such that just one wrong doing would me that FOR ALL ETERNITY they could never be in your presense? Or would you try to find a way to allow for both? Did I come out on the better end of that deal, well yes I probably did. But like christ suffered his tests to still believe and stay true, I suffer mine and I have already failed and will likely fail agian

    Answer by JadeRDragosani at 7:51 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • But, Bella, it is not "my decision." If God is omnipotent, then he is all-powerful, which renders everything He chooses is for His own entertainment, as nothing can be borne out of necessity. So if He _chooses_ to demand a blood sacrifice of an innocent for the guilt of the majority, it is purely a whim-based decision. That being said, how do you find that acceptable to the point where YOU are willing to accept this blood sacrifice and use to for your own personal gain? And how was the sacrifice loving if it was unnecessary? If that's your definition of love, we should all run around committing suicide for our spouses or partners or kids.

    Comment by SlightlyPerfect (original poster) at 7:53 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • And, Bella, you cannot give your body away or even incur debt (like the debt of sin) without first consenting to it.

    Comment by SlightlyPerfect (original poster) at 7:54 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • Jade, seriously???? "Or would you try to find a way to allow for both?"

    God is OMNIPOTENT, remember?

    Comment by SlightlyPerfect (original poster) at 7:55 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

  • but there is anet for me to fall into, to be safe. Much like our children can go out and explore and know that when they are hurt they can always come home where it's safe.
    We all have our trials to face and they are all different and individual, is it belief in theplan? Is it mental health that dabiltates every thing you do day to day?
    The price has been paid already. It has been accepted. Regardless of the ethics of it the things that are asked of me to get benefit from teh sacrafice, I don't feel them too high to achieve what can be mine if I but follow the way that is laid before me to reach salvation and to be with not only god, but my family for the rest of eternity.

    Answer by JadeRDragosani at 7:56 AM on Nov. 17, 2010

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