I’ve tried not being dogmatic about Trinitarianism but I was unable because a denial of the doctrine of the trinity usually leads to a denial of a vital aspect of Christianity - The Lord Jesus Christ being God.
One of the things that have hindered to me accepting unilateralism (I’m hoping this board can change that) is the fact that many, MANY, universalists Christians deny two very vital Christian doctrines:
-The Trinity - as mentioned, denial of this usually leads to the denial of Jesus being God.
-Free Will - denial of this calls into question the very character of God, even if God saves everyone, God controlling everyone is still a very sickening teaching.
There were a whole host of things Christ was doing at the cross. Not just forging our sins. Yes Jesus forgave our sins at the cross but this wasn’t the only thing He was doing. He was also cleansing our sins. In the Bible blood symbolizes life. Sin brings spiritual death and separation from God. In faith union with Christ our sins become His. For we are in Him and He is in us. In mystical union we are one with Christ. When the cup of God’s wrath was poured out His blood cleanses our sins. When our sins are cleansed it brings a smile to His face. He is pleased with us. When God smiles His glory shines. This is the glory of the happy God of the Gospel. Because He is love He hates sin. But with His hatred now removed He is our loving Father. We are crucified with Him buried and resurrected to new life. We become crucified followers of Christ. Here’s what the Bible teaches Christ was doing in the Atonement. Remember He voluntarily and willingly took on the sins of His people… That’s a lot of sin. So, we should expect the suffering to be so severe. Especially since it lasted for only a few hours. While Satan and man’s intentions were evil in the suffering and death of Christ, God’s intentions in allowing it were good. He had justifiable reasons for permitting the suffering and death of Christ. Here’s a few things the Bible says Christ was doing in the Atonement.
Showing that the worst evil in human history was meant by God for good
Providing the basis for our justification
Completing the obedience that becomes our righteousness
Taking away condemnation
Removing God’s wrath
Pleasing the Father in His obedience and love
Showing love and grace to sinners
Cancelling the legal demands of the law
Purifying His bride
Bringing the elect to faith
Giving eternal life to all who trust in Him
Making us holy
Giving us a clear conscious
Delivering us from the present evil age
Healing us from moral sickness
Bringing us to God
Freeing us from the slavery of sin that we might die to sin and live for righteousness
Enabling us to live for Himself
Creating a people passionate for good works
Calling us to follow His example of holy love
Creating a band of crucified followers
Freeing us from the fear of death
Gathering His sheep from around the world
Forgiving our sins
Of course we can’t know all of the infinite reasons of God’s infinite mind. But since God had justifiable reasons in permitting the murder of Christ then He does nothing wrong in doing so.
You argued "If one piece of a puzzle is formed a certain way, then all other pieces near it must also be formed to comply to the first.
I’m unfamiliar with this interpretation, or that life is this kind of puzzle. What convinces you that our existence is this kind of puzzle, or that God’s affirming choice of Jesus requires that God chose people to kill Jesus?
You are looking at the prize while ignoring that only a satanic mind would promote human sacrifice.
Look at this from a moral and legal point of view.
Human sacrifice is evil and God demanding one and accepting one is evil.
Those trying to profit from that evil are evil. Do just a bit of thinking and you will agree.
Imagine you have two children. One of your children does something wrong – say it curses, or throws a temper tantrum, or something like that. In fact, say it does this on a regular basis, and you continually forgive your child, but it never seems to change.
Now suppose one day you’ve had enough, you need to do something different. You still wish to forgive your child, but nothing has worked. Do you go to your second child, your good child, and punish it to atone for the sins of the first?
In fact, if you ever saw a parent on the street punish one of their children for the actions of their other child, how would you react? Would you support their decision, or would you be offended? Because God punished Jesus – his good child – for the sins of his other children.
Interestingly, some historical royal families would beat their slaves when their own children did wrong – you should not, after all, ever beat a prince. The question is: what kind of lesson does that teach the child who actually did the harm? Does it teach them to be a better person, to stop doing harm, or does it teach them both that they won’t themselves be punished, and also that punishing other people is normal? I know that’s not a lesson I would want to teach my children, and I suspect it’s not a lesson most Christians would want to teach theirs. So why does God?
For me, that’s at least one significant reason I find Jesus’ atonement of our sin to be morally repugnant – of course, that’s assuming Jesus ever existed; that original sin actually exists; that God actually exists; etc.
Having another innocent person suffer for the wrongs you have done, — so that you might escape responsibility for having done them, — is immoral.
Do you agree?
If not, please show how it is morally and legally good to punish the innocent instead of the guilty, bearing in mind that all legal systems think that punishing the guilty is what is justice.
So, DL. Forget about Christianity for the moment. Forget about religion for the moment. What is your philosophy of life? I feel and think it’s fair, to ask critics to give their own position here - whether theistic or non-theistic. If Ayn Rand and Friedrich Nietzsche (my 2 favorite atheistic philosophers) were alive and on this forum, they would be happy - to answer this question.
You also said:
So, does that mean you believe in a mixture of free will and determinism and embrace Compatibilism?
D.L. Your thoughts about God’s sense of justice being satisfied by punishing His Son instead of punishing wrongdoers, expresses a view known as “penal substitution.” That is only one view of the benefit of Christ’s death; there are several others.
Here is the purpose of Christ’s death according to Peter, Paul, and the writer to the Hebrews. Notice that NONE of them give the penal-substitution view:
You may well ask about the logistics of these benefits of Christ’s death. I do not know. But the point is, that penal substitution is not suggested in any of these statements.
If you wish to believe that Jesus’ murder had no salvific connection, well and good.
Most Christians will not agree with you.
As to the right to rule, the right of Kings, I guess that Yahweh was teaching Jesus what to do when he coveted another man’s woman, cuckolded Joseph and then do as all deadbeat dads do. Left his responsibility and ran away from them.