Reverend Scott McKenna a minister at the Mayfield Salisbury Parrish Church in Edinburgh, Scotland, says the orthodox teaching of the Church, that Jesus died for mankind’s sins, is wrong and “an obstacle because it depicts God as a potentate who demands blood for offenses he has suffered…I’m almost embarrassed explaining this theology because it is well past its sale date, and in some sense is quite immoral.” In the Scriptures we read, For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit, First Peter 3:18. When it comes to the doctrine on the Atonement of Christ, I will not trade what the Scriptures teach for McKenna’s doubts that constitute a direct attack on the trustworthiness of the Bible.
This is not the only passage of Scripture that declares Jesus died for our sins. There are others. There are many. The point here is the doctrine of the Atonement, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and in our place, is not a marginal teaching of the Church; it is a foundational Christian doctrine and fundamental biblical truth. To question biblical truth on any point is to question it on every point. If one cannot trust what the Bible says about the Atonement, why should one trust anything else the Bible says about anything? McKenna tries to bolster his view by saying, “In the Gospels, Jesus was killed by the Roman authorities because he was deemed to be a threat to the state.” Certainly that was Pilate’s motivation, but Pilate’s reason for what he did does not preclude God working through the events of human history to accomplish the fulfillment of His will. The Bible clearly teaches that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, Second Corinthians 5:19.
Seeing the human actions surrounding the crucifixion of Christ as merely the execution of a common criminal, or viewing it as the redemptive hand of God saving mankind, is the difference between faith and unbelief. McKenna may be “almost embarrassed explaining this theology,” but all Christians should be embarrassed by one who claims to be a believer but is actually an infidel, claims to be a minister but is a traitor to the faith. The Christian does not serve God any more than he serves His Word, he does not obey God any more than he obeys His Word, he does not trust God any more than he trusts His Word, he does not love God any more than he loves His Word.
The one who claims to be a Christian, a follower of Christ, is a liar who does not emulate the faithful example of Christ who in the midst of sore temptation told the seducer, It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, Matthew 4:4.
Gary B. King welcomes comments or questions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Christian Concepts are archived at gbkcc.com.