Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The injustice of Christianity

Christianity and justice do seem to be strange bedfellows.

For example, if Hitler had repented he would have gone to heaven in spite of his crimes. This is one of the problems with evangelical Christianity. It is, at its core, unjust. Anyone can do anything they like to other people as long as they accept Jesus and repent on their death bed. That's a bigger problem than anything Rob Bell may or may not have written in his recent book “"Love Wins" which seems to be exercising Christians greatly at the moment.

The classic response to this apparent injustice is that God's justice is fulfilled by punishing Jesus instead of the sinner. Really? That's not justice. That's like having a row with your wife and then kicking the cat. Substitutionary atonement is no atonement at all, like rounding up the usual suspects and convicting someone of a crime even if they did not commit it.

The second explanation usually provided is that God gives his son in our place as an act of love. If we translate that to the real world it would be the equivalent of you committing murder then me murdering one of my children to make up for it.

The difficulty seems to be that Christians have blinkered themselves to this logical problem and spiritualised the issue until they can no longer see it in all its starkness.