A great comment in reply to my post on Atonement and Jesus by D Rieder:
Good post. It makes no sense and it is morally bankrupt doctrine from so many angles.
First, I don’t care how they theorize how it works…it’s human sacrifice. In fact it is child sacrifice. Jesus is spoken of as God’s child. OF course he’s supposedly an adult when if finally happens, but he’s God’s child nonetheless.
Second the idea that somehow God needs to have sin propitiated before he could invite humans into a relationship with himself would make God less than omnipotent.
Third, there seems to be no part of the plan of salvation that encourages, much less requires someone seeking to right the wrongs they’ve done to others. NOT that Christians don’t do that…I’m sure many do. But the plan of salvation does not require it.
Fourth, it has all the earmarks of some of the most morally contemptible tendencies in any disciplinary or criminal justice system…passing off the guilt of one to another. Punishing an innocent person for the sins of the guilty. The terms sin eater, scapegoat and whipping boy come to mind. I know the concept of a father or friend paying his sons debt is touted as a good example of that…but that is a operational expedient the state uses because they aren’t about encouraging morality so much as ensuring a law is upheld..that a debt be paid for someone’s misdeeds. Plus, I think most would see it as an undesirable thing if the father or friend didn’t have any way to hold the guilty party accountable in other ways. Besides, even in secular courts it only works for certain kinds of misdeeds… misdemeanors. In most civilized criminal justice systems, it isn’t allowed for criminal actions. Can we imagine a system where the terminally ill, suicidal or mentally incompetent people could to be executed in place of the guilty party? Or the homeless could volunteer to serve prison sentences just to get off the street for a few years?