Friday, April 06, 2012

THE SCREAM OF THE DAMNED
...was Jesus really damned by God for our salvation?

UPDATED

CJ spoke of our Savior's cry, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?" And though I have contemplated that amazing cry often, never did it hit me as hard as in CJ's message, when he referred to it as "the scream of the Damned."

Then there was break and music and announcements, and John Piper stood up to bring his message. Several of us had prayed in a back room that God would anoint John, and pick right up where He left off in the previous message, and wow, did He. John referred repeatedly to the "scream of the Damned," and then moved into Romans 8.

A flood of tears came as God preached the message to me yet again. That Deity would be Damned. That the God who is called upon righteously by the saints and angels in heaven to damn people, and called upon habitually by unbelievers flippantly and unrighteously to damn people, would in fact damn his Son, would (from the Son’s willingness to drink the cup) damn himself…for us. That it could be said of the Beloved One, “God damned Him,” and that He screamed the scream of the Damned….it was too much for me. It is too much for me this moment. And in the ages to come it will continue to be too much for me.


-RANDY ALCORN


John Piper from his sermon on 'The Screamed of the Damned.

Everything exists to magnify the worth of the scream of the damned. That’s the point of the universe.

What we will do forever in heaven is magnify the worth of the scream of the damned.

Calvary will not be forgotten. It is the most-horrible, most sinful, most agonizing event that ever was - it will be the center of heaven forever.

Hell exists, cross exists, sin exists, heaven exists, you exist, universe exists, in order to magnify the worth of the scream of the damned.

What is the apex of the revelation of the grace of God? And the answer is the scream of the damned on the cross.



Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect,
so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God,
to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
-Hebrews 2:17


I have listened now several times to two messages from the 2008 Resolved Conference by CJ Mahaney and John Piper. The shocking phrase they both chose to use to describe Jesus' finished work of redemption on the cross for the elect was, The Scream of the Damned. No, they are not referring to unregenerate people in hell, or the weeping and gnashing of teeth from perdition's flames, but using this to describe the sinless, holy Son of God as our divine Substitute. The Lord Jesus Christ the Righteous now called: The Damned. This is unthinkable. Those words not only stunned me, but it did stir my interest afresh to go back and study again the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross with those provocative words in mind.

Both of these men are good communicators; passionate about the things of the Lord; both strive to be biblical in their sermons; and both are men of God. As most know, Piper has a reputation for creating phrases for shock value and being provocative (i.e., anyone remember Christian Hedonism?). I am all in favor of being creative in our writing, but it must stay in line with biblical truth as well. There can be no artistic license when speaking of God, His attributes, His character, our Lord's ministry, the cross, or the persons and nature of Jesus Christ Himself in incarnation for our redemption. We must pursue godly discipline with the purposed constraint to God and His truth that careful and circumspect study of Scripture affords when mining these great and essential truths of the Christian faith.

In all of my research, I haven't been able to find anyone who referred to Jesus' suffering on the cross as "the damning of Jesus"; and not one early church father that referred to Jesus as "The Damned" when speaking of the cross and substitutionary atonement. If someone knows of any early church father (or anyone for that matter except Piper and CJ) who use the term The Damned to refer to the loving, holy sacrifice of our Lord Jesus on the cross, I would be most interested to see the source and context. Thank you.

For context, CJ and Piper attribute the saying, "The Scream of the Damned", to Jesus' words on the cross: "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34). Christ was forsaken as our sin-bearer and propitiatory sacrifice (Heb. 1:3), but this is not the cry nor the language of damnation. This is a quote taken from Psalm 22:1. In saying these words, Jesus is fulfilling the prophetic words of the Psalmist and declaring Himself to be the one true Messiah. He is also expressing the agony and mystery of enduring God's wrath against us and our sins, so that we may have peace with God forever (Rom. 5:1). God forsaken of God... who can fully comprehend it? What great love by the Father (Rom. 5:8-9) and the Son (John 15:13) to endure such suffering for those He came to save (Heb. 2:9, Phil. 2:5-11). "Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). Amen?

Do you think that this is a picture of Jesus being damned beloved, or it is a picture of humiliation, substitution, propitiation, redemption, justification, and imputation? Are these two things compatible or antithetical according to God's Word?

Words matter; especially when expounding God's Word
Some initial questions I have about this disturbing phrase are:
  • is it biblical?
  • does the Scripture speak of the substitutionary death of Jesus for the elect as Christ being damned?
  • is this just cultural contextualization?
  • is it emotionalism run amuck?
  • is it sensationalized passion?
  • shock the flock nomenclature designed to wake up tired ears?
  • is this sound doctrine, theatrics, dramatics, blasphemy, or truth?
Let's look briefly at this issue.

The Scream of the Damned seems like language that is meant to provoke thought, solicit listenership, entice questions and entreat discussion rather than expound and exegete Scripture. But, I am absolutely convinced, it is language that is foreign to the biblical record. Nowhere in Scripture, beloved, is our Lord Jesus Christ ever referred to as "the damned" - even while enduring the wrath of God on the cross in vicarious penal substitutionary atonement. To do so misappropriates the truth of this great biblical doctrine and does injustice to the very nature of our sinless Savior who was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners.

Substitutionary death is not equal to the damnation unbelievers suffer, it is far superior because it is not due. His cry was not the cry of the damned but the perfectly obedient and sinless cry of the Son to His Father. Amen?

Is the word damned in the Bible?
The word damned is only used three times in all of Scripture (Mark 16:14; Roms. 14:23; 2 Thess. 2:12); and used for the unregenerate to everlasting perdition. Not even is that language used in describing the elect saints of God. Though we are all conceived in sin, dead in trespasses and sin, and by nature children of God's wrath, before we come to salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who are regenerated unto life are not called “The Damned.” Consider Romans 9 where Paul distinguishes between vessels of mercy whom God prepared beforehand for eternal life AND the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction (v.21-23). He does not say that the vessels of mercy, though elect - but yet not saved, are vessels of damnation... Foolishness.

While I appreciate the ministries of CJ and Piper, God's truth is preeminent over any person's individual proclivity to be clever. None of us can assign new meaning to words about the nature, person, character and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ that the Scriptures have not assigned to Him already. To say that Jesus was Damned on the cross, is unbiblical and quite honestly, irresponsible.

Biblically, being damned is an irrevocable, final act of eternal judgment for those who are vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. It is not descriptive of Christ's substitutionary work on the cross. In fact, I would say it is blasphemous.

Notice how God Himself describes the profound account of Jesus on the cross prophetically in Isaiah 53. He uses language such as:
"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;"
The Spirit of God in writing God's Word never one time refers to our Lord Jesus Christ as being “the damned” or the cross as “the damnation of Christ.” (Frankly, it is even disturbing to type that phrase.) If it is so key to understanding the cross, why does not the Author of the Scriptures not use it? It would have been easy for Him to do so, but He does not. And I believe the Word of God is silent on such perturbing nomenclature is for one reason... the cross was not the damnation of Jesus.

Here is how the Bible speaks reverently and solemnly about our Lord upon the cross:
  • He was made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13);
  • He was delivered up because of our transgressions (Rom. 4:25);
  • He died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3).
  • He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24);
  • He died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18);
  • He became the propitiation for our sins (Rom. 3:25-26; Heb. 2:17; 1 John 4:10);
  • and He was our divine substitute (Heb. 2:9; Rom. 5:8-9).
In like manner, 2 Cor. 5:21 is referring to imputation, not damnation:
"He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Jesus was holy throughout all aspects of the cross even when drinking the cup of wrath. He was our sin bearer or sacrifice. He was neither guilty of sin, or sinful, nor did He actually become sin itself. That would be heresy. Even in substitution, imputation, and justification the Word does not speak of Him as being damned, but God's holy once for all sacrifice for our sins.

The Bible speaks of the truth of His vicarious penal substitutionary atonement conveyed in five key words: substitution, justification, imputation, redemption, and propitiation. Nowhere is the damnation of Jesus on the cross a biblical term representing a biblical truth. Biblical terms do matter; and more importantly, biblical terms represent biblical truth written so by God Himself for our benefit and instruction. IOW, words matter.

Bible words are too boring; it needs "punching up" to speak to us... today
There seems to be a trend today to nuance or contextualize biblical truth and biblical terms. Whatever the motive, it can lead to the erosion of the fidelity of God's Word. (The Prodigal God; The Shack, etc.). We don't need the truths of Jesus on the cross punched up or embellished in someone's preaching for it to impact us. The Scriptures are sufficient enough to move us and inform us about the crucifixion and all that Christ did on behalf of satisfying the Father and redeeming His elect.

The need for the shocking, the sensational, the dramatics or the theatrics, etc. adds nothing to the real meaning of the text, or the cross and usually invokes something that is foreign to Scripture - which I believe has unfortunately occurred here. I know this is common within the emerging/emergent church community, but should not be among orthodox expositors of God’s Word. Men like CJ and Piper should be more careful when trying to rightly divide the Word (2 Tim. 2:15).

Jesus "became a curse for us"; but was He damned?
As to the text most cited by those who are trying to introduce apocryphal language as biblical, is Galatians 3:13:
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"—
Notice here, Jesus was not cursed; but He became a curse for us. There is a difference. John Calvin agrees also to this difference. Christ saved us from the curse of the Law. What is the curse of the Law? Sin and death. To transgress the Law is to sin; and the wages of sin is death. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the Law. How? By “becoming a curse for us.” The full weight of the penalty of the Law fell on Christ on the cross so that by His sinless life (His active obedience) and His perfect once for all sacrifice (His passive obedience) we might be redeemed and given by imputation the full righteousness of Christ. We are not made righteous; but we are clothed with His perfect righteousness. He was not cursed, but our sins and the curse of the Law was imputed to Him; and in that sense, He became sin and became the curse of the Law.

He bore the fullness of that curse upon Himself at the cross. Man could not do this for we are under the curse and our own righteousness is nothing but filthy rags deserving of the eternal justice and punishment of hell itself.

John Gill soberly brings this great truth of Gal. 3:10 to our self-righteous hearts and minds... pleading with sinners to trust in Christ alone:
they are under the curse, that is, of the law; they are under its sentence of condemnation and death, they are deserving of, and liable to the second death, eternal death, the wrath of God, here meant by the curse; to which they are exposed, and which will light upon them, for aught their righteousness can do for them; for trusting in their works, they are trusting in the flesh, and so bring down upon themselves the curse threatened to the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm; not only that trusts in a man of flesh and blood, but in the works of man; his own, or any other mere creature's: besides, by so doing, he rejects Christ and his righteousness, whereby only is deliverance from the curse of the law; nor is it possible by his present obedience to the law, be it ever so good, that he can remove the guilt of former transgressions, and free himself from obligation to punishment for them: nor is it practicable for fallen man to fulfil the law of works, and if he fails but in one point, he is guilty of all, and is so pronounced by the law; and he stands before God convicted, his mouth stopped, and he condemned and cursed by that law he seeks for righteousness by the deeds of:

Man is left hopeless and helpless trusting in his own ability to please God by perfect obedience to His law. This, beloved, is an effort in futility. We can never perfectly satisfy God and His holy standards by our own religious practices, or charitable acts of philanthropy, or reverent displays of adoration. It is all rubbish in His sight and worthy of the manure dump. We must "be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—" (Phil. 3:9) if we are to have an unshakable hope of eternal life. Christ Jesus bore the curse of the Law for us; by His sinless life and His once for all complete sacrifice on the cross. He was "delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).

Charles Spurgeon comments on the unfathomable love of our Lord Jesus in "becoming a curse for us" by reason of substitution:
“The curse of God is not easily taken away; in fact, there was but one method whereby it could be removed. The lightnings were in God's hand; they must be launched; he said they must. The sword was unsheathed; it must be satisfied; God vowed it must. How, then, was the sinner to be saved? The only answer was this. The Son of God appears; and he says, "Father! launch thy thunderbolts at me; here is my breast—plunge that sword in here; here are my shoulders—let the lash of vengeance fall on them;" and Christ, the Substitute, came forth and stood for us, "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God."
This is moving, powerful, stirring language and biblical in its truth about the worthy Lamb who was slain before the foundations of the world. Jesus was not Damned, He did not suffer damnation; but He willingly died in our place and took the punishment that we deserve upon Himself. O, hallelujah to the King of kings and Lord of lords!

Albert Barnes gives us some word of helpful caution as to what this phrase does not mean:
Being made a curse for us. This is an exceedingly important expression. Tindal renders it, "And was made a curse for us." The Greek word is katara; the same word which is used in Galatians 3:10. There is scarcely any passage in the New Testament on which it is more important to have correct views than this; and scarcely any one on which more erroneous opinions have been entertained. In regard to it, we may observe that it does not mean, (emphasis by SJC)

(1.) that by being made a curse, his character or work were in any sense displeasing to God.

(2.) He was not ill-deserving, he was not blameworthy. He had done no wrong, he was holy, harmless, undefiled. No crime charged upon him was proved; and there is no clearer doctrine in the Bible than that, in all his character and work, the Lord Jesus was perfectly holy and pure.

(3.) He was not guilty, in any proper sense of the word. The word guilty means, properly, to be bound to punishment for crime. It does not mean, properly, to be exposed to suffering; but it always, when properly used, implies the notion of personal crime.

(4.) It cannot be meant that the Lord Jesus properly bore the penalty of the law. His sufferings were in the place of the penalty, not the penalty itself. They were a substitution for the penalty, and were, therefore, strictly and properly vicarious, and were not the identical sufferings which the sinner would himself have endured. Eternity of sufferings is an essential part of the penalty of the law--but the Lord Jesus did not suffer forever. Thus there are numerous sorrows connected with the consciousness of personal guilt, which the Lord Jesus did not and cannot endure.

(5.) He was not sinful, or a sinner, in any sense. The sense of the passage before us is, therefore, that Jesus was subjected to what was regarded as an accursed death. He was treated in his death AS IF he had been a criminal. He was put to death in the same manner as he would have been if he had himself been guilty of the violation of the law.
Spurgeon says it this way:
“Ah! my hearers, how humbling is this doctrine to our pride, that the curse of God is on every man of the seed of Adam; that every child born in this world is born under the curse, since it is born under the law; and that the moment I sin, though I transgress but once, I am from that moment condemned already; for "cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."—cursed without a single hope of mercy,”
John Gill deals with this profound verse by saying:
“becoming the surety of his people, he was made under the law, stood in their legal place and stead and having the sins of them all imputed to him, and answerable for them, the law finding them on him, charges him with them, and curses him for them; yea, he was treated as such by the justice of God, even by his Father, who spared him not, awoke the sword of justice against him, and gave him up into his hands; delivered him up to death, even the accursed death of the cross, whereby it appeared that he was made a curse: "made," by the will, counsel, and determination of God, and not without his own will and free consent; for he freely laid down his life, and gave himself, and made his soul an offering for sin...

The curse of God, in vindicating his righteous law, was visibly on such a person; as it was on Christ, when he hung on the cross, in the room and stead of his people; for he was made a curse, not for himself, or for any sins of his own, but for us; in our room and stead, for our sins, and to make atonement for them.”
John Calvin brilliantly reflects on the Paul's words to the Galatians in saying:
It is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Now, Christ hung upon the cross, therefore he fell under that curse. But it is certain that he did not suffer that punishment on his own account. It follows, therefore, either that he was crucified in vain, or that our curse was laid upon him, in order that we might be delivered from it. Now, he does not say that Christ was cursed, but, which is still more, that he was a curse... If any man think this language harsh, let him be ashamed of the cross of Christ, in the confession of which we glory. It was not unknown to God what death his own Son would die, when he pronounced the law, “He that is hanged is accursed of God.” (Deuteronomy 21:23.)

He could not cease to be the object of his Father’s love, and yet he endured his wrath. For how could he reconcile the Father to us, if he had incurred his hatred and displeasure? We conclude, that he “did always those things that pleased” (John 8:29) his Father. Thus, “he was wounded for our transgressions...”
But what made the atonement so wonderful, so glorious, so benevolent, what made it an atonement at all, was, that innocence was treated as if it were guilt; that the most pure, and holy, and benevolent, and lovely Being on earth should consent to be treated, and should be treated by God and man, as if He were the most vile and ill-deserving. This is the mystery of the atonement; this shows the wonders of the Divine benevolence; this is the nature of substituted sorrow; and this lays the foundation for the offer of pardon, and for the hope of eternal salvation.

158 comments:

Believing Thomas said...

I guess my first question would be How do Majaney and Piper explain the use of this term? It seems, from what you're saying, that this is just an attempt at a clever turn of phrase designed to titilate or generate controversy.

I agree with you that people are trying to be far too clever in their verbage on Biblical matters. This leads, I believe, their listeners down the road of developing itching ears. It's one thing to take King James english and put it into the vernacular - it's quite another to flippantly turn the supreme sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour into the title of a B-Horror movie.

I can see the need to convey to folks the magnitude of His sacrifice, the pain He endured, but I agree that there's certainly better ways to put it.

We don't need a Christian Howard Stern.

SJ Camp said...

believing thomas
that this is just an attempt at a clever turn of phrase designed to titilate or generate controversy.

Controversy sells. Controversy gets talked about - I mean we are discussing this here. But not only for controversy sake. They preach this as if it is true with no Scriptural or exegetical explanation. They just said it - which doesn't make it true.

Alice said...

During my years at College Church in Wheaton, we recited the Apostles' Creed each Sunday. Next to the phrase "He descended into hell" there was an asterisk and then below a little explanation of what that meant. I always appreciated that. Words are important. Many people aren't willing to do the digging for sound doctrine, so they just believe whatever they hear or read, particularly when it's by someone well-known and respected. Good blog post.

SJ Camp said...

Alice:
Many people aren't willing to do the digging for sound doctrine, so they just believe whatever they hear or read, particularly when it's by someone well-known and respected.

Bingo.

We should be very careful when introducing new terms defining the nature of God or the person, work, character and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your words...
Steve

littlegal_66 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
littlegal_66 said...

Ooops…dead link. Try again:
“Lama Sabachthani?”

littlegal_66 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Steve,
You've had a lot more time to think this over and I certainly want to spend some time chewing on it as well, but let me ask you a question.
Are you bothered by the use of the word "damned"? As I see the word damned it refers to being condemned and certainly there is an aspect to that in the atonement and in the imputation offered by Jesus' work on the cross.
He became a curse on our behalf--you are right He was not cursed because of His sin, but He did become a curse for us (Gal 3:13).

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Isn't there an element of being condemned in that? If God "condemned sin in the flesh" by "sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom 8:3) didn't the Father have to condemn the Son on our behalf so that we could be forgiven?
Once again I want to spend some more time on this and like believing thomas I would love to hear what CJ and Piper have to say about their use of the term becasue I just don't see those two guys being controversial just to be controversial.
Thanks for giving me something to chew on!

SJ Camp said...

littlegal
Great link and article. I will have to run that as a part two to this current post.

Thank you!
Steve

SJ Camp said...

John
I am deeply bothered by using that word to describe what our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross!

For one reason: the Word of God does not ever use that word or any derivative thereof to describe His atoning work in that manner.

Glad you posted here...
Steve

Carla said...

Regarding being controversial just for the sake of being controversial...

I think we've all seen an increase in this kind of "preaching" and pastoring over the last few years. A lot of pastors do it and explain away that they're doing it to generate conversation over such matters. The pragmatic approach to evangelizing, preaching & teaching does seem to be on the increase, even among the more conservative leaders among the evangelical camp.

SJ Camp said...

Carla:
I agree. It's hard to know isn't sometimes without being guilty of judging motives.

I think this phrase was said for dramatics, but was never explained biblically as being true.

Maybe we will hear from one of them in a future article to put some meat behind their words.

littlegal_66 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Steve,
I don't like the word either and would not have used it, but would you agree that Jesus was condemned in our place?
I guess I am trying to make sense of what two of my favorite preachers were saying and trying to give them the benefit of the doubt without putting my head in the sand and ignoring the fact that we can all make mistakes.
Thanks again for your ministry,

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

It is very important for us to make sure we are always using biblical terms, no matter how 'boring' some today may think they are.

Christ was bruised for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities, but He was never damned. That is a wholly unbiblical concept to the person and work of our Savior.

To be damned is to be accursed, to be 'anathema'. Paul has some interesting thoughts about someone who attributes this condition to Christ...

Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed" - 1 Cor. 12:3a

Finally, to be damned is irreversible. There is no such thing as temporary damnation.

Believing Thomas said...

Guys - what strikes me about this topic is that there is so much noise out there today, both inside and outside the Church.

We've got folks condemning us because we aren't accepting of sinful lifestyles (take a look at this story: http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/man_sues_bible_publishers/2008/07/10/111626.html?s=al&promo_code=65BF-1 ) - we've got people masquerading as prophets of God, showing dubious signs and teaching a gospel that is really no gospel - we've got Christians saying the most important thing we should be doing right now is getting green & taking care of the planet - and we've got real Bible-teaching folks that divert our attention from the truth for reasons that aren't clear (at least to me.)

Anyway, my rambling thoughts lead me to the point that we need a focus on truth, keep it simple, and keep it unembellished.

Terry Rayburn said...

Man, this is a worse smear on the Lord than the phrase "Prodigal God"!

There are two basic ways to look at this:

1. Biblical word usage.

Whether you go to the English dictionary for the meaning of the English word (essentially meaning "eternally punished" - not true of Jesus), or going to the Greek for the meaning of words translated "damned" in the KJV (for example, katakrino, "judge against" or "condemned"), the burden of proof is on those who would use this word on Jesus.

There is just NO biblical warrant for this awful concept of the Lord being damned, making it hard to not think it's only a rhetorical ploy.

Randy Alcorn tells how he wept repeatedly at this [previously foreign] concept from Resolved, and declared it MUST be from the Holy Spirit. It may be TOUCHING, but is it TRUE?

I've gotten tears in my eyes at fictional "revelations" from movies (Superman bringing Lois Lane back to life by spinning the Earth backwards comes to mind).

But the question is not emotional impact, though the truth of the Lord's death may rightly impact us emotionally.

The question is TRUTH itself! In other words, "What is true?", not "What makes me weep when I hear it, because it sounds so amazing(!), even though I've never heard it before and it's not even in the Bible?!!".

2. The second basic way to look at it is in simple [biblical] philosophical terms.

"Damned", both in English and, more importantly in the related Greek NT words, implies "guilt" and "deserving" as regards punishment.

But the whole concept of Jesus as the Sacrifice Lamb is one of the utterly "Innocent One" receiving the death and wrath that the Lamb *doesn't deserve*, ON BEHALF of the guilty and deserving ones.

He is "Blameless" and "Innocent", and thus "damnation" is out of synch with what we call Substitutionary Atonement.
===============
The whole Jesus-was-Damned concept has the ring of Word of Faith Charismatic extra-biblical revelation folks like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, etc.

If Jesus went to "the grave" in any sense, He did so not as one of the damned, but as the Victor whose last words were not, "Oh, I'm damned", but "It is finished!"

Blessings,
Terry

John said...

I knew I had heard the phrase, "The Scream of the Damned" before. I pulled CJ's book Living the Cross Centered Life and on page 89 you find a chapter with that title and the following quote from RC Sproul, "The cry represents the most agonizing protest enver uttered on this planet. It burst forth in a moment of unparalleled pain. It is the scream of the damned--for us." He doesn't tell us where the quote came from, but at least we know where he got it.

littlegal_66 said...

Now R.C. Sproul too? What's going on?

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

It is disappointing when men with the qualifications and reputations such as John and C.J. choose to 'presume' and step beyond the bounds of the word of God. It is sad because when others see this it causes them to stumble in their own presumption and improper translation.
If we look to the image that the O.T. draws of the sacrifice given by Israel for the sins of the nation, observing the passover sacrifice, when it was done in accordance with the law, it is something that is pleasing to the lord in every way. The sacrifice starts out as pure, unblemished, without sin and it ends that way. Although it is put to death for the sins of the nation it is still innocent and pure .
So, being innocent and pure it is a pleasing offering/sacrifice to God, never is it defiled or made unclean. Christ was the final passover lamb, He was sacrificed innocent and pure, unblemished. Descent into hell for the purpose of suffering was not a part of the plan, rather hell was created for Satan and his angels not a innocent man nor a Holy God of which Christ was both! When Jesus said it was finished on the cross IT WAS FINISHED, it did not take three days for the completion of the sacrifice to take place, it was complete when He breathed His last breath. Christ had triumphed at the cross, Col. 2: 14, 15 says that

"by ccanceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.4"

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Col 2:14-15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

So, after the cross there was nothing else to do but celebrate, He had triumphed in a glorious and surprising fashion.

It is very unfortunate that what the word of God says and reveals as a explanation is not good enough, or deemed less than effective to achieve what is thought to be God's desired end. The scriptures and all that it holds is truly more than enough and it does not need to be embellished in any way, God can and does do all that He desires through His word!

SJ Camp said...

brian at vos
It is very important for us to make sure we are always using biblical terms, no matter how 'boring' some today may think they are.

Christ was bruised for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities, but He was never damned. That is a wholly unbiblical concept to the person and work of our Savior.


Amen!

God has used very specific language to communicate to us the reality of the cross. May we hold fast to its words and meaning.

Thank you my brother...
Steve

SJ Camp said...

John
I knew I had heard the phrase, "The Scream of the Damned" before. I pulled CJ's book Living the Cross Centered Life and on page 89 you find a chapter with that title and the following quote from RC Sproul, "The cry represents the most agonizing protest enver uttered on this planet. It burst forth in a moment of unparalleled pain. It is the scream of the damned--for us."

Yes, you are correct. There is not much I would ever disagree with RC with. He is the most profound theologian, historian and biblical scholar in our day (personal opinion). But he unfortunately missed it on this key issue.

I think we all try to wonder what that must have been like to witness our Lord's crucifixion on the cross and to hear him cry aloud those mysterious painful words...

But biblical truth cannot be based on my sentimental emotional whims and fancies. We must not romanticize about the cross; but preach faithfully what the Lord has revealed to us in Scripture alone. Otherwise, we do risk taking our own proclivities and moorings as part of God's Word.

SJ Camp said...

G-man
Col. 2: 14, 15 says that "by ccanceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."

Amen! The Word of God speaks to this so plainly and reverently so that we may sorrow over our sin AND rejoice in what our Lord has done to secure our redemption.

SDG,
Campi

SJ Camp said...

Terry
But the whole concept of Jesus as the Sacrifice Lamb is one of the utterly "Innocent One" receiving the death and wrath that the Lamb *doesn't deserve*, ON BEHALF of the guilty and deserving ones.

He is "Blameless" and "Innocent", and thus "damnation" is out of synch with what we call Substitutionary Atonement.
===============
The whole Jesus-was-Damned concept has the ring of Word of Faith Charismatic extra-biblical revelation folks like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, etc.

If Jesus went to "the grave" in any sense, He did so not as one of the damned, but as the Victor whose last words were not, "Oh, I'm damned", but "It is finished!"


All that I can say is AMEN my brother! Wonderful post.

Only Look said...

Spurgeon used to vomit before he entered the pulpit for reverance and fear of God in what he preached while men in the basement prayed in earnest. We are losing that whole attitude today that existed back then in being zealous for our Lord and to see folks saved.

I don't know what is happening today, but I have had to learn the hard way that if you misrepresent the Lord there will be some tough chastening so that we get it right in the future. This is no small thing.

There was another well known preacher whom I will not mention because it was second hand knowlegde refered back to me when the person returned from the event where he spoke. He got up and said that the flood was the single greatest event of murder ever committed. They said he said this for shock value, but God is no murderer. He has the right to kill and to give life.

I get it wrong sometimes myself and have to ask forgiveness and change my attitude or future voice in reaching the lost, but this shock value stuff is really bad because it is dumbing down our receiving the sense. The preacher of God's word is to give the sense and this quote by Piper simply makes no sense at all to the biblical mind and so it will lead the inquiring mind astray.

I have benefited in reading Piper and go through his books but sometimes I am struck by how he lines up the dominoes so well and then knocks one over with quotes that borderline heresy. It is one reason I have been confused by him in the past. I know he knows the truth, but why does he do this kind of thing when he really doesnt need to?

Spurgeon was always so good as well as Christ centered. I've never really felt those "Spidey" senses go off when I read him, but I do sometimes in reading Piper. It is however one reason why we all gotta ONLY LOOK TO CHRIST when it comes down to it.

I am glad you always encourage us to continue to stay sharp even if it means a guy in whom you greatly respect. Thats being a real Berean and hey we shouldnt feel bad about this as they were noble in following up on the apostle Paul.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

SJ Camp said...

only look
Spurgeon used to vomit before he entered the pulpit for reverance and fear of God in what he preached while men in the basement prayed in earnest. We are losing that whole attitude today that existed back then in being zealous for our Lord and to see folks saved.

I have also had to learn through times of chastening as well my brother. We don't see much godly fear and trembling at His Word in preaching much these days. May the Lord shake us to wake us to the profound honor any one of us has in opening up His truth to give the sense to His people and proclaim His gospel to the sons of men calling them to repentance to trust in Christ Jesus alone for the salvation of their souls by grace through faith.

Oh what a privilege. Have I heard CJ and Piper preach like that? Yes I have. May they continue to do so and be voices that will continue to stir our hearts with God's Word though the times we live in will not tolerate it.

Thank you for your comment brother and your passion for His truth.

Victor said...

I’m not sure why there is so much controversy about it.
R C Sproul spoke on the same subject at T4G 08 conference.
His whole message was about Jesus being cursed in place of people whom He would save.

R C Sproul used word “damned” as well in that message, just listen to his message from minute 56 of the message “The Curse Motif of the Atonement.”

Some one must be cursed for the sins, either Jesus on behalf of believers in Him or unbelievers in hell for their sins.

Why nobody raised a question about it at T4G or after that conference.

SJ Camp also commended Sproul's message at T4G here:

http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/2008/04/t4g-mp3s.html

thenextreformation said...

Steve, does this seem to be an isolated incident with these two men, and otherwise they are solid, Biblical teachers?

One point about contextualization. There seems to be a mad rush to force our context onto Scripture, and a disdain for studying Scripture, and the culture it was written in, for the purpose of reading Scripture for all it is worth (to borrow a phrase fro Hanegraaff), as if the current post-modern context is more important and relavent to understanding Scripture than the actual context it was written in. Just my observations.

Only Look said...

Amen Steve...but brothers doesn't Jesus say that we will give account for every idle word and for those of us in the household of faith the jugdment and chastening is occuring in this life? I know it is for me, but for those who are lost they are heaping up judgment in their words for that final day. And no I am not implying that Piper is lost, but am trying to convey by considering those who will be punished for their idle words to be very careful not to do as they do. We are children of light and also God is no respector of persons. He will chasten a child of God to remind us and Even Spurgeon said he underwent great chastenings. The bug everyone seems to be catching today to be a shock preacher needs to be addressed as it is here. We must be careful to represent with clarity the gospel always in all things. The finished work of Christ is a most blessed work that has deliverd us from damnation by God taking the curse on himself and breaking it and triumphing over it. He is risen now and seated at the right hand of God.

He ever lives and maketh intercession for us. So thankful for that truth because if he wasnt then I would have been snuffed out and condemned long ago.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

SJ Camp said...

victor
R C Sproul used word “damned” as well in that message, just listen to his message from minute 56 of the message “The Curse Motif of the Atonement.”

I had listened to this message when it was first released and did enjoy it very much. I gave a recommendation for this message as well based on that listening. My problem; my bad: I had listened to 97% of it and not the last 4 minutes. I did hear it today where RC did use the word "damned" in regards to Christ on the cross. I was stunned.

I love RC; he is an unbelievable expositor and exegete, but he did miss it on this one. If fact, he was apologetic for using the word (if you recall) and knew it was really pushing the boundaries. So he just didn't blurt it out. He said it with reservation.

Thanks for your comment.
Steve

SJ Camp said...

thenextreformation
Great nick by the way and thank you for your question.

Steve, does this seem to be an isolated incident with these two men, and otherwise they are solid, Biblical teachers?

CJ and Piper are very good Bible teachers. This dramatic of a mention is the rare exception to both of their ministries. And a part from their association with Driscoll out in Seattle, they are very fine pastors and Bible teachers.

That is why their unbridled use of this phrase came as such a surprise.

I am so glad we are having this discussion here. It is important that we understand what the Scriptures teach on essential doctrines, and while we honor and love these dear brothers for their years of faithfulness in ministry, it just goes to show the best of men are men at best.

We all need to stay teachable and accountable to the Word and His people. Amen?

I know I haven't arrived and am grateful for those here who have been used as instruments of grace in my own sanctification on biblical matters.

Steve

Victor said...

Steve

That’s true; I recall that RC was apologetic for using the word, although I believe he intended to use that word but with reverence and not with casualty.

I listened to that message several times that's why I remember it.
I believe that it is in an agreement with the context of that whole message.

Victor

Rafael said...

PROSECUTION
Is there a God? I will not try to say yes or no to this question. Rather, I will make this place a law court. I will ask you to be the judge, and I will be the prosecutor. The work of a judge is to make decisions, to approve or disapprove the truth of statements; the work of a prosecutor is to present all the evidence and arguments that he can possibly gather. Before we proceed, we have to be clear about one fact: all prosecutors are not eyewitnesses of crimes. They are not policemen. A policeman may personally witness an event, whereas a prosecutor obtains his information only indirectly. He places all the charges, evidence, and arguments collected before the judge. In the same way, I shall present before you everything that I can possibly find. If you ask whether I have seen God or not, I would say "no." I am reading or demonstrating what I have gathered. My job is to search for facts and to call for witnesses. You are to arrive at a conclusion yourself.
THE UNIVERSE
First, looks at nature, the world that is before our eyes and every phenomenon in it. We all know that scientific knowledge is the rational explanation of natural phenomena. For example, there is an observed drop in the temperature of a patient. The drop in temperature is a phenomenon, and the explanation for it is scientific knowledge. When an apple falls from the tree, it is a phenomenon. Why does an apple not fly into the air? The explanation for this phenomenon constitutes knowledge. A man with knowledge is a man who has the proper explanations.
ONLY TWO EXPLANATIONS
The universe displays countless phenomena of diverse forms, colors, shapes, and nature. We cannot fail to notice these phenomena before our eyes. The explanation for all these phenomena is known as knowledge. All thoughtful persons have only two explanations as far as the origin of the universe is concerned; there is no third explanation. You have to take one or the other of them. What are these two explanations? The first says that the universe came into being through natural evolution and self-interaction; the second attributes its origin to a personified being with intellect and purpose. These are the only two explanations presented by all philosophers of the world. There is not a third one. Where did the universe come from? Did it come into existence by itself or through chance? Or was it designed by the One from whom we derive the concept of God?
CHANCE EVENTS
What are the characteristics of things that come about by chance? First, we know that they are unorganized. At the most they can be partially integrated. They can never be totally organized. One can achieve a specified goal by chance once, but he can never achieve a specified goal by chance all the time. Anything that comes together by chance can only be integrated partially, never totally. For example, if I throw this chair to the other side of the room, by chance it may come to rest at a perfect angle. If I do the same with a second chair, it may also lie neatly beside the first one. But this will not keep on happening with the third and the fourth and so on. Chance can only provide partial organization. It does not guarantee total integration. Furthermore, all random interactions are aimless, disorganized, and purposeless. They are without order and structure; they are loose, formless, disorderly, and not directed toward any meaningful purpose. Briefly, we can say that the characteristics of chance events are disharmony, irregularity, inconsistency, purposelessness, and insignificance.
CONSISTENCY AND ORGANIZATION
Now let us compare the things in the universe with these characteristics. Take, for example, the human being. He is carried in his mother's womb for nine months and delivered; he grows up and eventually dies. This cycle is repeated for every single individual. Consistency can be observed. It is not a wild game of chance. Again, look at the sun above your head. It does not exist purposelessly. Rather, it has its purpose and significance. Look at the moon, the stars, and the myriads of galaxies through your telescope. Some stars have their own planets. They all follow definite tracks and patterns. They are all organized. Their manner of motion can be calculated and predicted. The calendar in your hand is derived from them. Even next year's calendar can be printed before this year is past. All these show that the universe is organized, consistent, and purposeful.
MICROORGANISMS
Let us turn to the micro-world or quantum mechanics. Take a thin slice of wood. Put it under a microscope and observe its grain and structure, all meticulously regular and rhythmic. Even a blade of grass and the petal of a flower are finely fashioned. Nothing is unorganized or confused. Everything is disciplined and functional. All these things witness one fact to you: the universe, with its macro (the whole universe and galaxies) and micro aspects (quantum), is purposeful and meaningful. Can you say that all these came into existence by chance? Surely you cannot.
CHANCE OR DESIGN
The universe has to be created by someone with profound wisdom, vast knowledge, and intricate design. If you cannot accept the concept of random formation of the universe, you have to admit that it was created by such a God. There cannot be a third explanation. The choice is left to you. You have to decide if the universe came by chance or whether it was created by God.
A DEMAND AND ITS OBJECT
One witness may not be enough. I will call in another. This time we will consider man's heart. Before doing so, we should also observe one fact: wherever there is a desire, there must first be an object for that desire. For example, an orphan who has never seen his father naturally has a desire for a kind of paternal love. I have asked many people who were orphans, and they all have felt this irrepressible yearning. By this we can see that every desire of the heart arises out of an object in the world. As human beings we have a need for social belonging. We need companionship and mutuality. If you put a boy on a deserted island and he grows up alone, he still has the yearning for companions, for beings like himself, even though he has never seen a human being. This yearning or desire is the very proof that somewhere in the world there is something known as "man." At a certain age, man begins to think about posterity; he starts desiring children and grandchildren. This is not a mere fantasy. This desire stems out of the existence and possibility of offspring. Hence, where there is desire, there is an object for that desire.
THERE IS GOD IN THE HEART
Do we have any desires other than social identity and self-propagation? What other cravings do we have? Deep in everyone there is a craving for God. Whether they are highly civilized races, such as those among the Caucasians, or the ancient civilizations, such as the Chinese civilizations, or the African natives and uncultured aborigines, they all have a common craving --God. As long as they are men, they have a yearning for God, no matter what race or nationality. This is a fact. You cannot argue against it. Everyone is seeking after God. Everywhere man is craving for God. This is very clear. By applying the principle that we just mentioned, we can see that since our heart feels the need for a God, there must necessarily be a God in the universe. Since there is a need for God in the heart, there must be the existence of God in the universe. If no God exists, we would never have such a craving in our heart. We all have an appetite for food. In the same way, we all have an appetite for God. It would be impossible to live if there was only an appetite for food but no food. Likewise, it would be impossible to live if there was a capacity for God but no God.
NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT GOD?
Once, an atheist rudely rebuked me in a loud voice: "You said that a man has the psychological need for a God. But there is no such thing, and I do not believe in it." I said, "Well, do you mean to say that you never think about God? In fact, even while you were talking, you were thinking about Him. This indicates that you do have a capacity for God. There is no one who has never thought about God. He may try not to think much about Him. Since this thought is in you, there must be such an object outside of you.
"THE WORDS AND THE HEART”
A young man once came to me to argue about God. He was vehemently against the existence of God. He gave me one reason after another for saying that there is no God. As he was enumerating the various reasons why God should not exist, I listened to him quietly without saying a word. Then I said, "Although you insist that there is no God and support yourself with so many arguments, you have lost your case already." He said, "What do you mean?" I went on to explain: "Your mouth can say as much as you want about there not being a God, but your heart is on my side." He had to agree with me. Although one can give all sorts of reasons in the head, there is a belief in the heart that no argument can defeat. A stubborn person may give a thousand and one reasons, but you can have the boldness to tell him, "You know better in your heart that there is a God. Why bother to look for evidence outside?"Now what would you say? After looking at nature and the universe, after checking with your inner feeling, it is up to you to decide whether or not there is a God. But you should not be irresponsible; your attitude must be sober because everyone has to meet God soon. One day you will all stand before Him. Everything concerning you will be laid bare. On that day you will know God. But now is the time for you to be prepared. We should all be prepared to meet our God.
Finally is there is a God. Who is he? Who among the most ancient religions claim to be God’s son?
As well there must be a written record of God and God’s son. Among all the ancients’ written records is there such a book?

David said...

Wow...how off base is this idea.

Nice work on ex positing the true doctrine of substitution, Campi.

~Dave

SJ Camp said...

David
Thank you for the encouragement my brother. All of grace and all for His glory (and all in spite of myself...amen?).

SJ Camp said...

victor
Thank you for your honest appraisal here... It is a welcome joy. I appreciate you brother,

Campi
2 Cor. 4:5-7

SJ Camp said...

Rafael
I don't know where to begin in answering you.

But I will bring it to this:

1. There is the One Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit from all eternity; co-equal, co-existing, co-eternal each worthy of our worship and praise and possessing full attributes of Deity. One God, three Persons.

2. The book by which we know this is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God contained in the 66 books of the closed canon known as the OT and NT in the Bible. Every word of God is true and pure as tried in a furnace seven times. It is all that we need for life and godliness. The natural man does not understand the spiritual - for that is given by the illumination of the Holy Spirit alone.

3. There is only one gospel leading to salvation: by grace alone, through faith alone, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. There is no other name, given among men under heaven where by we must be saved. Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Him. Repent of your sin; deny yourself; take up your cross and follow Him. Forsake all idols and cling only to Jesus for the salvation of your soul. You must confess Him as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.

4. The universe is created by Him, for Him and through Him. All things consist in Him and He is the sustainer of all that He created. There is no mystery here: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. It is His...

Count the cost,
Steve
Matt. 16:24-26

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

I have not listened to Piper yet but I have heard C.J.. That being said I think that what has been said here is not entirely accurate. What C.J. said is that 'Jesus experienced hell for us on the cross.' He did not say that Jesus descended into hell, but that he took on himself the wrath and damnation that we should have taken on. In the context that C.J. was presenting this I would have to say that C.J. is not in error.
He also did not say that Jesus was damned, rather what he said was that Jesus screamed the scream that we deservedly should have screamed. We should have been the ones that were damned and screamed the scream of the damned but Jesus did it for us. As I said, Jesus was not the one damned but he was the substitute for those who were.
I do not see any insinuation of Christ being damned rather He was simply the substitute of those who, without Him hanging on the cross, would have been damned completely and fully. All in all I would say that C.J.'s sermon is sound, even with the use of the phrase 'He screamed the scream of the damned.'

SJ Camp said...

G-man
I sent this to one of CJ's associates at his church and they would disagree with you. He did mention The Scream of the Damned. AND that Jesus is the One being damned. That is not sound.

Also, Jesus did not cry the cry we should have cried. The cry of our Savior "My God, My God - why has Thou forsaken Me?" He only could have uttered. It is taken from Psalm 22:1. In that cry, He had fulfilled that Scripture; He had shown Himself to be the one true Messiah; and revealed the agony and mystery of drinking the cup of the Father's wrath as a propitiation on behalf of the sins of the people.

The cry of the damned will not be such. It is the cry of eternal torment from Hell's flames in unrelenting torment and agony. It is the cry of the weeping and gnashing of teeth. it is the cry of full knowledge that they are under the wrath of God forever.

Lastly, the language of being forsaken by God; and damnation are not equal. One is by imputation, substitution, and propitiation; the other by reprobation, corruption, sinfulness of nature, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, and forever being tormented in Hell.

Thank you for your comments as always.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Just as a disclaimer, I just want to say that I think the choice of words could have been better. It seems that this phrase that 'He screamed the scream of the damned' has the unnecessary consequence of being confusing, mis-communicated or misconstrued. There are consequences to the expressions of ideas, especially when they seem clever or catchy, perhaps they would appear to drive home a point when what it does is drive the point someplace we never intended it to go!

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.
Typed my disclaimer as you responded to my comment on C.J.'s sermon.
Words certainly can take our hearers places we never intended them to go. We need to be careful as we speak the truth. In spite of the confusion this has created and the error that you have uncovered, and I do hear what you are saying and it is sound, I personally have been enlightened on how important is to diligently seek God's guidance, steer clear of tricky sounding phrases and simply present the truth as is, no embellishments added!

Terry Rayburn said...

gigantor,

I sympathize with your defense of the intention of Mahaney in his message.

But Jesus still did not "scream the scream of the damned".

Consider three passages of Scripture:

1. "The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, DID NOT REPENT of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they DID NOT REPENT of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts." Rev. 9:20,21

2. "Men were scorched with fierce heat; and THEY BLASPHEMED THE NAME OF GOD who has the power over these plagues, and they DID NOT REPENT so as to give Him glory." Rev. 16:9

3. "...and THEY BLASPHEMED THE GOD OF HEAVEN because of their pains and their sores; and they DID NOT REPENT of their deeds." Rev. 16:11

Setting aside the specific interpretation of these passages, they clearly show the attitude of unrepentant sinners at the hands of an angry God.

Their attitude? One of hatred toward God, and unrepentant fury.

That is surely indicative of the "scream of the damned".

How far removed from the Lamb of God, who cried from the Cross, "Father forgive them", even while He poignantly cried, "Why have you forsaken me?", because of His love for the Father.

Mahaney (and Piper) may not have specifically said that Jesus was literally damned, but the inference is so horrible and blasphemous that it should be avoided at all cost.

If the Lord screamed (Scripture doesn't say so), it was not the scream of the damned, it was the scream of the Innocent Lamb.

Blessings,
Terry

gigantor1231 said...

T.R.

I do see the error in this. I appreciate what you and Steve have pointed out. As I said, I think their choice of words, Sproul, C.J., Piper, was chosen to drive home a point but they are words that are inaccurate and can not bare up under proper interpretation. Better stick with those things that are tried and true!

SJ Camp said...

G-man
I appreciate you brother and thank you again for your continued love of God's Word and a sound desire to honor His truth. It is always an encouragement and example to me to continue on to honor the fidelity of the Scriptures.

One more thought. Here is Randy Alcorn's thoughts from his blog about what their sermons meant to him:

A flood of tears came as God preached the message to me yet again. That Deity would be Damned. That the God who is called upon righteously by the saints and angels in heaven to damn people, and called upon habitually by unbelievers flippantly and unrighteously to damn people, would in fact damn his Son, would (from the Son’s willingness to drink the cup) damn himself…for us. That it could be said of the Beloved One, “God damned Him,” and that He screamed the scream of the Damned….it was too much for me. It is too much for me this moment. And in the ages to come it will continue to be too much for me.

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 3:5

SJ Camp said...

Piper Quotes
Everything exists to magnify the worth of the scream of the damned. That’s the point of the universe.

What we will do forever in heaven is magnify the worth of the scream of the damned.

Calvary will not be forgotten. It is the most horrible, most sinful, most agonizing event that ever was - it will be the center of heaven forever.

Hell exists, cross exists, sin exists, heaven exists, you exist, universe exists, in order to magnify the worth of the scream of the damned.

What is the apex of the revelation of the grace of God? And the answer is the scream of the damned on the cross.

gigantor1231 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Point taken. Talk about taking something that was meant as one thing and turning it into something that it is not. Thanks.

P.S. This has me wondering!

Piper

"What is the apex of the revelation of the grace of God? And the answer is the scream of the damned on the cross."

What is he thinking? Is this cause for concern? It certainly is cause for examination and question.

PuritanReformed said...

Steve:

I agree with you. I cannot understand the need for sensationalization with regards to the things of God. Shouldn't the truth be enough to hold our attention without the need for embellishment?

Brian said...

When we study Scripture, sometimes we look at things incredibly difficult to understand. Then we look at the context of the person that was writing it, through time-consuming research, commentaries, countless hours studying the original languages and settings, etc. People spend entire lives deciphering the meaning of difficult passages. We still haven't all agreed on what they mean, even us folks that agree to the solas.

Why can't we give brother Piper, whose context and situation we understand far greater than the context and the situation of the NT, at least the same benefit we give to the difficult things that we read in the Bible? Can't we try to figure out his intended meaning?

Keller, with "Prodigal God," points us to a God of grace - orthodoxy. Piper, with "Scream of the Damned," points us toward a savior of imputation - orthoxody.

I preached a sermon this past Sunday calling Exodus 19:6 "God's constitution." I drew a parallel between America and Israel, describing how we are citizens of a greater nation and how the articles of our nation are priesthood and holiness. Would you call me out on using those clearly unbiblical terms?

I'm not necessarily defending Piper or Keller, because I don't need to and I haven't listened to much of either of them. But if we take this to its extreme, are we going to abandon unbiblical phrases like sola scriptura? Where does this logic end?

Winslowlady said...

It's easy to hear things and let them lie there on a superficial level. Many Christians miss the "hmmmmm..." factor. This is, "Hmmmmm...it sounds somewhat right, but my discernment antenna is clicking in and it doesn't sound right." At this point most people just stop and go on with their busy lives...too busy to be a Berean and spend time chewing on things that don't seem quite right. Was Jesus damned? On a superficial level you could make all kinds of excuses for this way of putting things, but when you start thinking about it and digging into Scripture, it seems these guys need to explain how they get this biblically...cause it just isn't right.
winslowlady

diddy said...

Steve-

You mentioned in one of your comments that had been in communication with CJ's team. I was wondering if they, or Piper's team, have offered up any clarifiction or elaboration on the use of this term.

As of last night, I could find nothing on either CJ's blog or Piper's. Thanks for the great discussion and focus on God's Words.

Carla said...

puritanreformed asked:

"Shouldn't the truth be enough to hold our attention without the need for embellishment?"

It should be, especially for those who cry Sola Scriptura the loudest. (The Scriptures alone are our standard for faith and practice).

However, we live in a time where contextualization of not only the gospel but the preaching of the word in general, has taken on many facets of wordly style as well as worldly substance. The audience is far more likely to welcome a message with sensationalistic sounding words and phrases (such as language you might hear and relate to from movies, computer games, etc.) than they are to welcome a message with the language of Scripture.

It's more and more accepted all the time. The disturbing thing about this is (for me) is hearing the more orthodox, conservative, "old school" pastors actually put into practice the claim of the liberal emergent types who claim the message must be "fluid" and change with the times. While they (conservative old school pastors) reject the liberal post-modernistic dynamic on the one hand, some of them turn right around and in practice, act and speak just like them.

gigantor1231 said...

As Steve has defined it correctly;

'Lastly, the language of being forsaken by God; and damnation are not equal. One is by imputation, substitution, and propitiation; the other by reprobation, corruption, sinfulness of nature, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, and forever being tormented in Hell.'

Just as Prodigal is not a term that should be associated with God, no matter how legitimate the material contained in Tim Keller's book is, neither should Christ be associated with the damned or being damned it is simply not accurate, and worse than that it is a lie!

MacArthur relates this experience as he was in seminary;

' Don't spiritualize the text . The first sermon I ever preached was really bad. My text was, "The angel rolled the stone away" from Matthew 28. I entitled my sermon, "Rolling Away the Stones in Your Life." I talked about the stone of doubt, the stone of fear, and the stone of anger. Doubt, fear, and anger are all legitimate topics, but they have nothing to do with that verse! I call that "Little Bo Peep Preaching" because you don't need the Bible; you can use anything--even "Little Bo Peep."'

Piper, C.J. and R.C. seem to think that they have discovered something profound here but the problem is they have not! What they have done is totally shift the focus of what the Word of God is communicating. In the beginning of C.J.'s sermon C.J. elaborates how those that are going to hear him, really need to be enlightened by God. I did not catch this at first, or perhaps I just disregarded my internal warnings but, As a matter of fact, until I observed what Piper had said did I realize the extremity of the error! Piper's statement is very telling;

"What is the apex of the revelation of the grace of God? And the answer is the scream of the damned on the cross."

This is a application of "Eloi Eloi Lama Sabachtani" that was never intended, this is MacArthur's Bo Peep preaching in overdrive! R.C. should have never gone here to begin with, for what ever reason he did, and Piper and C.J. should have never carried it on. It appears that because of the highly charged nature of the statement and the emotion that is associated with it that all objectivity has been lost and the response from C.J. and Piper has been to take 'scream of the damned' to a place that it should never have gone and that is as a truth applied to the crucifixion!
I sincerely do pray that these men would re examine this issue and correct it!

JamesL said...

I do not think the Macarthur's illustration is the same as what Piper and Mahaney did here. They overdid the language here but there was not a case of spiritualizing the text, An example of such would be taking the 5 smooth stones David used and trying to say they represent faith,hope, blah blah blah.
My question is Paul refers back to the OT and says in Gal 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree." I don't think I've read anyone interact with that, however I could be wrong. Mr Rayburn's response was most beneficial.

Michele Rayburn said...

Brian said:

"When we study Scripture, sometimes we look at things incredibly difficult to understand. Then we look at the context of the person that was writing it, through time-consuming research, commentaries, countless hours studying the original languages and settings, etc. People spend entire lives deciphering the meaning of difficult passages. We still haven't all agreed on what they mean, even us folks that agree to the solas."

Maybe that is part of the problem: “forced illumination” (or “forced revelation”) of a passage before God would choose to reveal it to us.

In other words, trying to get the meaning of a passage of Scripture, or a word, or a phrase before God (through the Holy Spirit) chooses to reveal it to us, instead of patiently waiting on the Lord to reveal it to us in His time and if He so chooses, while continuing diligently study of His Word.

That's what could be leading to all these “new revelations” from well-meaning teachers and false teachers alike. They want something new and illuminating, not realizing it may be at the expense of the truth.

donsands said...

It's difficult to hear John Piper, and CJ Mahaney being accused of blasphemy. Two wonderful pastors, and servants of the Lord.

I have had this discussion with Steve before.

I believe the Father forsook His Beloved, when Jesus cried to Him. I believe the whole earth went dark for this very reason. I believe the Son and Father have a perfect holy love, and they never sever that love, but they together allow this love to be excruciatingly burdened. For it must have anguished the Father to see His Beloved only begotten Son treated with such crulety; the same suffering it pleased the Father to ask His Son to take.

I say all this, because it is such a mystery to me.

I can appreciate the discussion here, and Campi's very well written post.

I must pray on this some more. And talk with my pastor, and seek out RC Sproul's thoughts on this as well.

If it is blasphemy, then I have no doubt these humble servants of Christ shall repent, as we would, I hope, if we committed blasphemy.

Here's a few words to take to heart as well:

"Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree (Deut. 21:23)." Gal. 3:13

"Jerome is much troubled, seeking, as it would seem, with a godly zeal, to turn away this reproach from Christ, that He should be called a curse. The schoolmen say that the verse from Moses which Paul here quotes speaks not of Christ. Moreover, this general clause 'every one' which Paul quotes is not in Moses. Again, Paul omits the words 'of God' which are in Moses. To conclude, it is evident enough that Moses speaks of atheif or a malefactor who by his evil deeds has deserved the gallows, as the Scripture plainly witnesses in the 21st chapter of Deuteronomy. Therefore, they ask this question, How can this sentence be applied to Christ, that He is accursed of God, and hanged upon a tree, seeing He is no malefactor or theif but righteous and holy? This may convince not only the simple and ignorant, but also the very godly, who wish to defend the honor and glory of Christ. Let us see therefore what is the meaning and purpose of Paul.

Here we must make a distinction, as the words of Paul plainly show. For he says not that Christ was made a curse for Himself, but for us. Therefore, all the weight of the matter stands on this word, "for us." For Christ is innocent as concerning His own person, and therefore He ought not to have been hanged on a tree; but because, according to the law of Moses, every thief and malefactor ought to be hanged, therefore Christ also, according to the law, ought to be hanged, for He sustained the person of a sinner and a thief, not of one, but of all sinners and thieves. For we are sinners and thieves, and therefore guilty of death and everlasting damnation. But Christ took our sins upon Himself, and for them died upon a Cross; therefore, it is right that He should become a transgressor, and (as Isaiah says, chapter 53) be "numbered with the transgressors."

This, no doubt, all the prophets foresaw in spirit, that Christ should be accounted the greatest transgressor that could be, having all sins imputed to Him. For he being made a sacrifice for sin, yes, for the sins of the whole world, is not as such an innocent person and without sin, but a sinner who has and carries the sin of Paul, who was a blasphemer and a persecutor; of Peter who denied Him; of David who was an adulterer and a murderer; and who bears all the sins of all men in His body--not that he is Himself guilty in any way, but that he received them, being committed or done by us, and laid them upon His own body, that He might make satisfaction for them with His own blood (Isaiah 53:5). .... When the law therefore found Him amoung thieves it condmened and killed Him as a thief. ...

But some man will say, it is absurd and slanderous to call the Son of God a cursed sinner. I answer, if you will deny Him to be a sinner and accursed, deny also that He was crucified and dead. For it is no less absurd to say that the Son of God (as our faith confesses and believes) was crucified and suffered the pains of sin and death, than to say that He is a sinner and accursed. .... He is innocent because He is the unspotted and undefiled Lamb of God. but because He bears the sins of the world, His innocence is burdened with the sins and guilt of the whole world. Whatever sins I, you, or we all have done, or shall do hereafter, they are Christ's own sins, or else we should perish forever." -Martin Luther

SJ Camp said...

Don
As always I appreciate you Don and our interaction on biblical essentials such as this issue.

I feel the need to clarify a few quick things:

1. I did not charge CJ and Piper with blasphemy.

2. When Luther said, "But some man will say, it is absurd and slanderous to call the Son of God a cursed sinner. I answer, if you will deny Him to be a sinner and accursed, deny also that He was crucified and dead" he was dead wrong. Luther got much right; but on this he is profoundly wrong.

Our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was not a accursed sinner! How dare he make that assertion. He was correct, I do think him slanderous to refer to our Lord in such an unbiblical manner. Our sin was only His by imputation. He never was a sinner, or sinful in any part of His being whatsoever.

3. That is why when I hear a dear man of God like Piper refer to the cross as "the most sinful... event that ever was" - it sends shivers up my spin.

Why not speak of our Lord Jesus on the cross as the most sacrificial event? Or, the most God exalting event? Or, the most Christ glorifying event? Or, the most loving event? Or, the most humbling event? Or, the most sorrowful event? Or, the most holy event?

But the most sinful event and that Christ was a sinner; and He is now called The Damned as an appropriate title to describe our eternal redemption?

This is slanderous; slanderous against Jesus. Shame on any man who will speak of the holy, sinless, perfect Son of God - the Lord Jesus Christ in this manner.

Aren't you outraged by this? I am brought to tears and cannot stop weeping.

In His grace,
Steve
Col. 1:15-20

Brian said...

"At this point most people just stop and go on with their busy lives...too busy to be a Berean and spend time chewing on things that don't seem quite right. Was Jesus damned? On a superficial level you could make all kinds of excuses for this way of putting things, but when you start thinking about it and digging into Scripture, it seems these guys need to explain how they get this biblically...cause it just isn't right."


It's a hearty accusation to say that Piper isn't digging in to Scripture or thinking about it.

littlegal_66 said...

”That it could be said of the Beloved One, ‘God damned Him,’ and that He screamed the scream of the Damned….it was too much for me. It is too much for me this moment.”

I read this quote on another blog last evening, and you know, I have to say that Randy Alcorn was right in one sense…..not only that it could have been said, but the reality that it actually was said....and said several times.... that is too much for me.
I have much on my heart, and this whole thing has compounded things greatly.

Believing Thomas said...

After reading all of these numerous posts, my takeaway from this is that I should always be careful in what I say, especially when it concerns the character, purpose, and gospel of Jesus Christ.

Carla said...

Brian said:

"It's a hearty accusation to say that Piper isn't digging in to Scripture or thinking about it."

In response to winslowlady's comment about the "hmmm factor" and how most people don't stop and dig into Scripture when they hear something that doesn't seem quite right. I didn't get the impression at all that she was accusing Piper of not digging, but referring to most people.

In my years as a believer, I have had countless conversations with fellow Christians who readily admit that there were times in their lives that they did this very thing. I have also done this myself, just assuming that it was me who was too spiritually/doctrinally/theologically immature to understand the point being made, and rather than dig into the Word just let it slide. It's (unfortunately) a very common malady when it comes to living a Christian life as a genuine Berean, and I'd be willing to bet most Christians even commenting here would nod in affirmation that they also have been guilty of this in the past.

If there were less of this going on, such things like TBN and the vast majority of "Christian" books wouldn't even exist.

Just a thought.

donsands said...

"1. I did not charge CJ and Piper with blasphemy."

I know. Someone else did.

Am I outraged at Luther's teaching? No.

But I am pondering it.

Luther also said: " He is innocent because He is the unspotted and undefiled Lamb of God. But because He bears the sins of the world, His innocence is burdened with the sins and guilt of the whole world."

I truly believe when P{aul said God made Him sin, it was a mystery for our minds.
Yes He was a sinbearer, and a sin offering, but Paul simply says sin here, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

I believe that Christ was forsaken, but I can't expalin that. I believe it happened because He was drinking God's wrath, at the time the earth became dark.

I will continue to read, pray, study, pray, and meditate on these things.

I know one thing for sure; all my sin, not just the part, but the whole was blotted out on that first Good Friday by a wonderful savior, Jesus Christ. He drank the cup, and it is now empty. Nothing left to drink. Hallelujah! What a gracious and awesome God and Savior we have!

I always appreciate your passion for the truth Campi. Keep on.

Deb_B said...

"This is slanderous; slanderous against Jesus. Shame on any man who will speak of the holy, sinless, perfect Son of God - the Lord Jesus Christ in this manner."

I am compelled to concur. I hold Dr. Piper in high regard and have benefited from his teachings, even consulted with him back in 1995 regarding matters concerning the writings of Jonathan Edwards ... but I cannot reconcile this with Scripture. I cannot.

"Aren't you outraged by this? I am brought to tears and cannot stop weeping."

Yes, I am angry and have been since I first learned of it. I've paced and prayed and discussed thoroughly and even more prayerfully with my beloved, with our pastor and I'm still angry.

Campi, thank you for your honesty, It seems the older I get, the more prone I am to weep over such things and to admit doing/having done so. Ironic, I suppose, in that in my younger days I rarely, if ever, shed a tear.

But, here we are, we've laid the label "prodigal" on God, now we've "damned" Christ on the cross. Is someone passing the hat for suggestions/adjectives to insult God, the Holy Spirit, so we can make a trifeca of it?

Perhaps we ought to take up an offering to buy more of Saul's untested armor whilst we're at it?

What in the world have we, the collective Body of Christ got to with such foolishness? God have mercy, please, and grant us tender consciences ... and, please, grant us Godly sorrow leading to repentance.

Why must we continually go beyond that which is written in the canon of Scripture? If the Lord tarried His coming and left me here a century more, I'd still not have come close to plumbing the depths prayerfully in the Spirit's light of what He has already given us.

"For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light."
[Psalm 36:9]

JamesL said...

Matthew Henry on Gal 3:13:
He shows that we cannot be justified but by faith fastening on the gospel, because the law condemns us. If we put ourselves upon trial in that court, and stand to the sentence of it, we are certainly cast, and lost, and undone; for as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, as many as depend upon the merit of their own works as their righteousness, as plead not guilty, and insist upon their own justification, the cause will certainly go against them; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them, v. 10, and Deu. 27:26. The condition of life, by the law, is perfect, personal, and perpetual, obedience; the language of it is, Do this and live; or, as v. 12, The man that doeth them shall live in them: and for every failure herein the law denounces a curse. Unless our obedience be universal, continuing in all things that are written in the book of the law, and unless it be perpetual too (if in any instance at any time we fail and come short), we fall under the curse of the law. The curse is wrath revealed, and ruin threatened: it is a separation unto all evil, and this is in full force, power, and virtue, against all sinners, and therefore against all men; for all have sinned and become guilty before God: and if, as transgressors of the law, we are under the curse of it, it must be a vain thing to look for justification by it. But, though this is not to be expected from the law, yet the apostle afterwards acquaints us that there is a way open to our escaping this curse, and regaining the favour of God, namely, through faith in Christ, who (as he says, v. 13) hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, etc. A strange method it was which Christ took to redeem us from the curse of the law; it was by his being himself made a curse for us. Being made sin for us, he was made a curse for us; not separated from God, but laid for the present under that infamous token of the divine displeasure upon which the law of Moses had put a particular brand, Deu. 21:23. The design of this was that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ—that all who believed on Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, might become heirs of Abraham’s blessing, and particularly of that great promise of the Spirit, which was peculiarly reserved for the times of the gospel. Hence it appeared that it was not by putting themselves under the law, but by faith in Christ, that they become the people of God and heirs of the promise. Here note, 1. The misery which as sinners we are sunk into-we are under the curse and condemnation of the law. 2. The love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ towards us-he has submitted to be made a curse for us, that he might redeem us from the curse of the law. 3. The happy prospect which we now have through him, not only of escaping the curse, but of inheriting the blessing. And, 4. That it is only through faith in him that we can hope to obtain this favour.

Terry Rayburn said...

Sadly, I think this conversation would be significantly different if it were John Doe and Joe Schmo who had done the preaching, instead of two highly respected big names in Christendom.

Without doubting anyone's heart motives, I don't think Alcorn would have wept in amazement as much, and I don't think others would be so "open" to the charge of Jesus being Damned.

I've been a Christian for 32 years, heard thousands of sermons, read hundreds of books and commentaries, and I've never even *heard* such a charge before.

Am I now to "roll" with it, because it's being taught (or at least inferred) by the famous?

I know it's unrealistic to "forget" the famous personalities involved, but at least all of us sola scriptura folks can agree to discuss such a serious matter on the basis of Scripture alone.

I love Luther [sounds like an ol' TV sitcom], but I agree with Steve that Luther makes a serious error in calling Jesus a sinner(!!).

Do we really need Luther's "take" on the subject, if we can't find a SINGLE Scripture that says Jesus was Damned?

I'm not dissing Mahaney, Piper or Luther. Their respect is deserved.

But we can discuss what's true, can't we?

Sola Scriptura,
Terry

Only Look said...

When I first learned of Piper a few years ago I was enthralled when listening to him in my truck on Calvary Chapel radio.

Man I was so greatful that a man of God was challenging the prosperity gospel head on and calling us all to a deeper walk and to learn that we find life in death which is the road less traveled by in modern day evangelism.

I would send out posts by Piper very excited about what he was saying but one day my cousin sent me an article that made me mad at my cousin for challenging my thinking about Piper. It was based on some research by the man who preaches in the Metropolitan Tabernacle now and the talk was on Piper and the potential for ecstatic worship in some of his teaching. He did not trash Piper. He just reasoned with us to be alert to us but to be encouraged by much of his other teaching that is indeed calling us all back to truth.

I would read God is the Gospel very heartily still upset with my cousin for challenging my thoughts. AS I would read I would amen and rightly so in many portions of that book. Then one day my eyes hit a page, I believe page 138, where Piper said it was idolatry to be thankful or grateful for the finished work of Christ. Now I can go along with other things as being idolatry and I believe I know what he was trying to convey but the words that were probably intended for a bit of shock value were not appropriate in my opion when the scriptures call us to be thankful in all thing. If we pull out the mooring of the finished work of Christ in the total basis of our thanksgiving then we move others into other motives whether we realize it or not. The same is true of this, Scream of the damned quote.

Piper does have good elocution and perhaps that is indeed a gift from God, but can we all stop and consider that he may indeed have a blind spot.

Unfortunately I found myself getting angry with Piper and begining to slander his motives after this discovery and some others and God has forgiven me for this, but I still think it serves us well to consider this importance here. This quote does echo blasphemy. To ignore our concience here is not helpful. If someone has a blind spot, we are not loving them by looking past it or watering down the seriousness of it. I want to consider this blindspot because I really do think there is a bit of a Pattern here in Pipers preaching. It was hard for me to see it at one time because I liked him so much and then I swung on the Pendulum to another extreme in getting angry with him...so I think it behoves us to step out of the box and consider. I once heard AW Tozer say that you can learn more from your enemies sometimes than your friends because they will be more honest with you. It is with caution that I post this because the man on the video clearly seems to be sharpening his knives to have Piper for dinner, but in the video I do see a blindspot that I really believe Piper has and that is in his elocution he does indeed stir the emotions and his own emotions at times to go outside the realm of truth with every well meaning intention, but we all at times must come down from cloud nine and see how truth effects us most deeply at ground zero. Now my only point for posting this link is how he addresses the former president Bill Clinton. Perhaps Piper handled it partially right, but then he seems to take on a fervor that I don't believe God would alltogether endorse. Again, please watch with caution and consider the source, but also consider that there may be an element of truth in spite of the source. I dont wish to get off topic and hope this serves to shed light on how perhaps a quote like the Scream of the damned came from Pipers lips and the possibility of other shock value quotes may come if we do not stay alert. Please consider. Emotions can affect us on so many differant facets. I know they have me in the past and that is why it is good to stay alert and have the courage to hear things we may not want to hear or consider.

Piper on Bill Clinton

Grace upon grace,

Brian

gigantor1231 said...

S.J., T.Ray, D. Sands

If I have somehow conveyed that any of these men have blasphemed please forgive me. I assure you that blasphemy is something that did not enter my mind.
With that under consideration, I can say this, this title, phrase.. 'The Scream of the Damned' certainly is something that is highly charged and driven by emotion rather than sound consideration and proper exegesis. The more I consider it the more it just does not sit well, especially in light of Jesus words at His death 'it is finished' and the passage in Col. 2: 14 and 15, it says that

"by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."

also Eph. 4: 7-10

7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says,
f “ When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into ithe lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

and 1 Peter 3: 18-20 says;

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.


The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

In other words all that took place, the culmination of our saviors work took place right there on the cross, it was finished there and all rulers and authorities were disarmed there. A way was opened, atonement was made, satisfaction was attained.
There is no insinuation of damnation prior to, during or after the cross and, lest we forget, no one took Christ's life, He freely laid it down of His own accord. There was no damnation, yes Christ was cursed, He bore our sins, and in so doing He was considered of us one who was smitten and stricken by God as one who we turn our faces from. In the end though there was only triumph and the scream of the damned was never meant to be because He was never damned!

Deb_B said...

"Sadly, I think this conversation would be significantly different if it were John Doe and Joe Schmo who had done the preaching, instead of two highly respected big names in Christendom."

Terry, after prayerfully pondering your comment above, I believe I'm going to have to shamefully agree.

Paul boldly withstood Peter "to his face" regarding his hypocritical behavior towards Gentile Christians.

You're right, some of us quite likely have taken a softer approach to this because of who it is.

Shame on me!

"'m not dissing Mahaney, Piper or Luther. Their respect is deserved. ... But we can discuss what's true, can't we?"

Amen, my brother.

KarensFaith said...

When I first read the title of the post, I naturally thought it was going to be about those who, well, went to hell. And then I started reading the post and was horrified! I had just finished watching a series by John MacArthur about the dangers of pragmatism and then I came here and read that! Wow! I was so stunned I just didn't know what to think. After reading all of it and then everyone's comments here, I have to say I agree with Steve and most everyone here. This is wrong. Why do we feel we have to use shock and/or sensationalize the Word of God? I think it is sufficient in and of itself.

Karen

donsands said...

"If I have somehow conveyed that any of these men have blasphemed"

Not at all.

I always consider the source. If I'm reading James Boice, then I believe from the get-go I'm going to be edified. The same goes with John Piper, CJ Mahaney, John MacArthur, RC Sproul, Alistair Begg, Jerry Bridges, CH Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, Steve Camp, Phil Johnson, Luther, Calvin, Owen and on and on it goes.
I believe these men are called by God to lead, and teach the people of God.
Can they make mistakes? Sure.

But I respect their calling. They have been proven to be mature servants of the Lord.

I will need a while to consider all this. And I'm no scholar, that's for sure. But I do have a Bible, and a good pastor/friend. And we will go to the Lord Jesus, and ask Him to help us see the truth of Scripture concerning His death, His Fathers wrath, Him becoming a curse and sin, and His propitiation for the sins of the whole world.

God bless all.

Only Look said...

Pardon me it was page 138. What Piper was trying to convey was a graditude for ourselves and God blessing the sin that man loves and confusing it with a missapropriation of the cross and I see his point, but we should always be thankful for the cross and grateful. That is not idolatry, but will instead release us from our idols.

He seems to have a wording problem that seems to stem from sometimes appearing to sensationalize. I understand some of you in your desire to be careful here but do we really need to seek anyone else out to see this? I really think we need to stick to common biblical sense at times and sometimes it takes people outside of our normal groups to help us see our blindspots. I am just a common trucker who has at times needed another trucker on the CB to help me see that fourwheeler that might catch me by surprise weaving in and out of traffic or another trucker to help me back up the big rig. Sometimes we truckers can get a bit proud and not want to admit this for fear of looking like we are in need, but just like Jesus washing our feet, we have to wash one anothers and even the big guys in the pulpit are not above that.

Years ago when I first prepared to go over the road, I told my trainer that I was a bit nervous. He said that it was good and that the day I stop being a bit nervous I should get out.

I can remember getting behind another trucker who was more experienced than I that I knew very well and following him through a toll at a tunnel in Maryland. After we passed through a state trooper pulled us both over and told us we passed through the third toll that did not have a truck senser on it to measure our size for the tunnel and we were in danger of getting a $1200 fine for not going through the two tolls on the right and that if we had looked at the signs we would have seen that, but we had gotten to comfortable in our trucks and he in his experience and mine in my trust of his experience.

We all have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and that includes our pastors and teachers. We must remember that. Yes we are to be submissive to the authorities and our teachers in the faith, but we are also accountable on our own for truth and each of you is accountable for what toll you get in. Following another driver who may have missed the sign and failed to be alert with a bit of hightened reverance for that truck will be on you, not another trucker/teacher and we must stand before God in Him faithfully. Not behind another. I respect some of you alls caution, but also think it behooves us to have caution for what toll booth we go through as well.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Douglas said...

"Calvary will not be forgotten. It is the most-horrible, most sinful, most agonizing event that ever was - it will be the center of heaven forever."

Calvary will not be the center of heaven forever.

The LORD Jesus Christ in all of His majestic, awesome, holy glory will be the center of heaven forever.

The scream of the unredeemed damned will be the center of the lake of fire forever.

littlegal_66 said...

"The LORD Jesus Christ in all of His majestic, awesome, holy glory will be the center of heaven forever."

AMEN! Brings it all into proper perspective, brother....thanks, Douglas.

Douglas said...

Just a couple of more thoughts which I will try to keep short. :)

"A flood of tears came as God preached the message to me yet again. That Deity would be Damned."

A flood of tears should come every time we think of what Christ accomplished for us, because each and every one of us deserves to be damned. Deity was not damned and never will be damned. Deity does not die nor can Deity die. God cannot be damned nor can God die. Jesus, in His humanity, was forsaken of the Father while he hung upon that brutal bloodied Roman cross of execution, He died and was buried and rose again on the third day but He was not damned. He took upon Himself the sins of His people throughout the whole world, past, present and future, His Elect chosen by God Himself before the very foundations of the world and He shed His blood, the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God without spot or blemish, for the remission of sins. Jesus Christ in His Deity was not forsaken of the Father while He hung upon that tree. If Jesus Christ in His Deity had been forsaken of the Father while He hung upon that stake there would have been a mutation within the Godhead and none of us would be here today to talk about it.

Can God die? Some people seem to think so and say so. I think some of these people (ones I deeply respect too) teaching "The Scream of the Damned" theory may need to review some of their own past writings. Imo that is.

Can God die?

BTW, Acts 20:28 is not saying God the Father literally shed His own blood, many versions of the Bible translate the verse incorrectly and leave the impression that God the Father shed His own blood when in actual fact God the Father does not have a physical body nor physical blood.

Acts 20:28 (g)Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit (h)has made you overseers, to shepherd the church (7)of God (i)which He purchased (j)with His own blood. (NKJV)
(g)1 Pet. 5:2
(h)1 Cor. 12:28
(i)1 Eph. 1:7, 14
(j)Heb. 9:14
7M of the Lord and God

20:28 with His own blood. The phrasing is remarkable in the way it acknowledges that the blood of Christ is the blood of God. Many ancient manuscripts have a different word order, reading "the blood of His own," that is, of Christ. (The New Geneva Study Bible, NKJV, now called The Reformation Study Bible)

20:28 with His own blood. See note on 1 Pet. 1:18 Paul believed so strongly in the unity of God the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ that he could speak of Christ's death as shedding the blood of God-who has no body (John 4:24, cf. Luke 24:39) and hence no blood. (MacArthur Study Bible)

The RSV translates the verse more accurately:

"Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." (Acts 20:26-30 RSV)

Jesus Christ may very well have "felt" like he was numbered among the damned but feelings are not what truth is based upon. The truth is; Jesus Christ was condemned to die but He was not damned.

Jesus not only took upon Himself sin He also appeased the wrath of the Father. Jesus Christ did not become a sinner, He became the sin bearer.

Douglas said...

Thanks littlegal_66 for the encouragement, God bless you.

R W S said...

First off , I will wait to comment concerning these sermons until I have heard them . But secondly I will show both charity and patience until both of these Godly men respond . Way too much time has been spent on surmising why they used these words and the accusations that they deliberately used this term to stir things up questions both of these mens character.Plus I'm fully confident that if someone showed these men that the term was off base they would acknowledge they were off base and repent . Way too much speculation going on here until Piper and Mahaney respond for my liking.

A. B. Caneday said...

I have posted a comment on JT's "Between Two Worlds" blog on this subject. I believe that what I have to say there is applicable here, also.

Steve, you make the following statement: As to the text most cited by those who are trying to introduce apocryphal language as biblical, is Galatians 3:13: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"—Notice here, Jesus was not cursed; but He became a curse for us. There is a difference. John Calvin agrees also to this difference.

You are correct. There is a difference between saying "Jesus was cursed" and "Jesus became a curse for us." However, the difference is not so great between saying "Jesus was cursed for us" and "Jesus became a curse for us." Either way, the curse of the law of Moses fell upon Christ Jesus.

Would you be happier if Mahaney and Piper had said, "Jesus became the damned one for us"?

Personally, I think that C. J. Mahaney and John Piper have touched our nerves by giving contemporary expression to the scandal of the cross. On this, see my comment on JT's "Between Two Worlds" blog.

Terry Rayburn said...

Prof. Caneday,

Splitting the hair between "being cursed" and "becoming a curse" is not the point.

The proper hair to split is between "cursed" and "damned".

The biblical concept of "cursed" deals with the idea of God being "against" the cursed one, either regarding His favor, or regarding His wrath.

"Damned", whether in ancient Christian theology, or contemporary demon movies, carries two ideas:

1. Deserved punishment.

2. Forever and ever.

Neither is true of the Lamb of God, since 1) He was the Innocent Lamb, and 2) He declared "It is finished".

Of course, "damned" is not even a strictly biblical word regarding Jesus on the cross, but if you're going to use an English word to represent a biblical concept ("trinity", e.g.), at least it should represent the TRUTH ("damned" does not, regarding Jesus on the cross).

You wrote:

"...C. J. Mahaney and John Piper have touched our nerves by giving contemporary expression to the scandal of the cross."

1. "Touching our nerves" is not the criteria for preaching the truth.

2. "Damned" is far from a "contemporary expression", dating from the 1500's.

3. Most important, it's simply not true of Jesus.

You ask,

"Would you be happier if Mahaney and Piper had said, 'Jesus became the damned one for us'?"

I can't answer for Campi, but I think the question is irrelevant, since neither "damned" nor "the damned one" is biblically accurate.

What happened at the Cross was awesome, earth-shaking, horrible, and should "touch the nerves" of every believer.

But Jesus was not damned.

Meditate on the concept for a few moments:

Jesus was damned by God.
God damned Jesus.
Jesus was God-damned.

If that's not "contemporary" enough, picture Him starring in the movies:

The Damned
Village of the Damned
Queen of the Damned
Children of the Damned
Forest of the Damned
House of the Damned

Totally unbiblical, Prof.

Final question:

Why in the world would one want to use an *unbiblical* word to express an *unbiblical* concept, resulting in an *untrue* concept, when there are so many *biblical* and *true* words and concepts at our disposal?

Just to "touch a nerve"?

God's blessings on your ministry at Northwestern,

Terry

A. B. Caneday said...

Terry,

You wrote,

"Damned", whether in ancient Christian theology, or contemporary demon movies, carries two ideas:

1. Deserved punishment.

2. Forever and ever.

Neither is true of the Lamb of God, since 1) He was the Innocent Lamb, and 2) He declared "It is finished".


_____________________

Please, allow me to paraphrase what you wrote with the word cursed.

"Cursed under the law", as a biblical category carries two ideas:

1. Deserved punishment.

2. Forever and ever.

Neither is true of the Lamb of God, since 1) He was the Innocent Lamb, and 2) He declared "It is finished".


The biblical portrayal of bearing the curse of the law is horrific and repulsive. Hence, the Jews were repulsed by the proclamation of the gospel that placards Jesus as crucified, bearing the curse of the law/the curse of God (Galatians 3:1-13).

_____________________

Mahaney and Piper did not use the word "damned" in such a way as to be filled up with the notions that you assume are essentially married to the word.

Of course, Jesus the Messiah was wholly undeserving of being punished under the curse of the law, which is to say, under the curse of God. This is why he could bear the curse for us.

Of course, Jesus the Messiah did not endure the curse of death forever and ever. Nor does using any of the following words to depict Jesus' sacrificial atoning death suggest that he was deserving of such a death or that such a death, for him, would be forever and ever--cursed under the law, under God's curse, forsaken by God, under God's wrath, punished for sin, crushed, sacrifice for sin, condemned by God, crying out to God as one damned, etc., etc.

The eternal Son of God did not need to endure God's wrath eternally in order to redeem us, for he, bore God's eternal wrath due unto us in the compressed time that he was upon the cross precisely because he is the Eternal One. As for me, I believe that the curse that he bore for others he bore upon the cross alone and not in the tomb. In other words, the condemnation (dare I suggest damnation?) that Jesus Christ bore under God's wrath he bore upon the cross alone, while very much alive, and not at all did he bear God's wrath while in the tomb. Jesus' being "buried" (1 Cor 15:1-8) was not a "descent into hell" as recited in the most common version of the Apostles' Creed (see Wayne Grudem on this).

Honestly, Terry, I fear that I have failed to make my point sufficiently clear to you, and perhaps, then, to others. Of course, I thought that I had made it fairly clear. So, it is possible that you simply missed my point. Wherever the fault lies, my point is that Jews, whether of the first century or later, were as profoundly offended by the apostles' identifying Messiah as one cursed under the law (i.e., bearing God's curse) as you and others are at what C. J. Mahaney and John Piper (and also R. C. Sproul) have said using the word damned. The Jews stumbled over the cross because a crucified and curse-bearing Messiah was utterly reprehensible to them. Herein is the scandal of the cross (see 1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

In closing, I did not suggest that "'Touching our nerves' is the criteria for preaching the truth." I said something altogether different. What I stated may have been too cryptically dependent upon the concepts that I stated in the paragraph immediately above. Yet, as biblically literate as all "iron sharpening iron" participants seemed to me to be, I thought that all would surely recognize the connection. For the record, I stated, "Personally, I think that C. J. Mahaney and John Piper have touched our nerves by giving contemporary expression to the scandal of the cross." I still think the same.

The cross has become an icon, a piece of jewelry worn as a pendant on a chain. The cross, the offensive Roman form of capital punishment, has become commonplace, even among Christians. Thus, in order to rekindle the offensiveness and scandal of the cross of Christ for people to whom I preach and for whom I teach, I have often appealed to the scandal of the electric chair, a current but fading form of capital punishment. What Mahaney and Piper, also Sproul, have done is akin to this. Is it not?

gigantor1231 said...

a.b caneday

With all due respect sir, "Eloi Eloi Lama Sabachtani" is not something that is open to your own or anyone elses private interpretation, and neither is the rest of the Word of God! Attaching the title of 'the screamed of the damned' to this portion of scripture is contrived from emotion at best and places a meaning on the crucifixion and death of Christ that was never meant to be. If what I say is not true then please support your own assertion with supporting passages from the Word of God that show Christ to be damned. All passages that deal with Christ beyond the cross portray Him as being victorious, hardly a attribute of being damned! If we are talking about Him being damned on the cross then in context of the Word damned what is being said is nonsense.
I will leave you with these passages of scripture that should, quite frankly, put this to rest;

1 Peter 3: 18-20 says;

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

How could Christ be damned if His spirit never died? The answer is that He was never damned to begin with! He suffered, bore our sins, became a curse on our behalf but He was never damned. This is key 'being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.'

Christ became as man IN THE FLESH, and suffered as man IN THE FLESH, that He might become our high priest;

Heb. 2: 14-18

2:14 ¶ Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, Heb. 2:15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Heb. 2:16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Heb. 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Heb. 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Christ had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. He was never made like man in His spirit because as He was 100% man in the flesh. His spirit was, and is, all of God. To be damned would also require that he be encompassed fully in darkness and that is a direct contradiction of 1 John 1: 5

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light and in Him there is no darkness AT ALL!

I hope this helps.

gigantor1231 said...

a.b. caneday

If it is simply that you are asserting that we are having a difficult time receiving the word damned, as the Jews had a difficult time receiving a cursed savior, then you ought to take into account that there are words that are much more offensive and caustic that could be applied to this 'screamed of the damned'. Are we validated in using them as well, if they are a correct synonym?

A. B. Caneday said...

Thanks for welcoming me into the conversation. I won't be able to chat any further.

I have to prepare for preaching tomorrow on the scandal of the cross, on God's Son and our Messiah who was condemned under God's wrath on our account and for us. I hope this does not cause anyone to take any further offense, but my sermon title is "God's Foolishness Confounds Human Wisdom" (1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5).

littlegal_66 said...

....."my sermon title is 'God's Foolishness Confounds Human Wisdom.'"

Oh, my...

....To drop a bomb like that and then not be able to stick around for further dialogue.....sigh.....

Deb_B said...

"I won't be able to chat any further. ... "

[:::y-a-w-n:::] Rarified air always makes me drowsy. ;)

gigantor1231 said...

A.B.

Just so ya know there is no offense on my part, rather a aggressive request for scriptural support of a proclaimed belief, from those that should know better based upon their training. Also a earnest refutation of this 'scream of the damned' theory. If you must run, at least consider substantiating your position from the word of God and give a answer for the hope that is in you at some future time!

SJ Camp said...

ab caneday
I am so sorry I have missed this interaction here today. I have been traveling for ministry tomorrow.

I will be praying for you as your preach the Word and rightly divide its truth as a workman, approved unto God, unashamed. I would also covet your prayers. I will be preaching out of Heb. 2:9-14 on The Glory of the Cross.

If you have time to respond later on, i would be interested in the pros ton theon relationship of Christ on the cross to the Father as our propitiation (Heb. 2:17). Considering the same phrase is used in John 1:1 and Roms. 5:1 - I find some powerful and interesting comparisons.

Grace and peace to you my brother...

Yours for the Master's use,
Steve
Col. 1:9-12

Only Look said...

I gotta come out of the closet Steve and admit that I am a wannabe in theology so I must ask:

What does pros ton theon mean?

Pure and undefiled unfeigned ignorance:-)

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Terry Rayburn said...

a.b.,

You seem like a terrific person to have coffee and Bible with, and I appreciate many of your remarks.

Your comments on the "compressed" nature of Jesus' enduring of God's wrath on the cross is very insightful.

Likewise, I think you're right on in pointing out that the awful payment for our sins was entirely on the Cross, and not in the tomb.

Also I agree with you that the Jews were "profoundly offended" by the concept of the Messiah suffering the curse of the Law.

And I agree that the Cross as a symbol in jewelry, etc., has trivialized the horror of the real Cross.

All that said, I don't think it's relevant to the issue of using "Damned" to describe what the Father did to Jesus.

You wrote,

"Mahaney and Piper did not use the word "damned" in such a way as to be filled up with the notions that you assume are essentially married to the word."

1. I don't "assume" notions that are essentially married to the word "damned" -- they ARE married to the word.

The English word has been around for 500 years, and has gathered a very specific bunch of theological and quasi-theological baggage, involving what is loosely called Hell, or more pointedly called the Lake of Fire, where the devil and his angels go, and where the "damned" remain unrepentant as they weep and wail and gnash teeth.

2. I agree that Mahaney and Piper didn't use the term in that sense, but that's exactly why it is dishonoring to Jesus to call Him "damned".

3. The real "scream of the damned" is the scream of the Guilty in a horror they deserve, even as they curse God.

"Self" in the extreme.

The "scream" of the Lamb of God on the Cross was the scream of the Innocent in a horror undeserved, even as He bemoaned the turning away of the face of the Father He loved. And for the love of those whom the Father had given Him.

"Selflessness" in the the extreme.

Blessings,
Terry

PuritanReformed said...

Carla:

>It's more and more accepted all the time. The disturbing thing about this is (for me) is hearing the more orthodox, conservative, "old school" pastors actually put into practice the claim of the liberal emergent types who claim the message must be "fluid" and change with the times. While they (conservative old school pastors) reject the liberal post-modernistic dynamic on the one hand, some of them turn right around and in practice, act and speak just like them.

Unfortunately, that is true. Something doesn't seem right with this new Calvinist resurgence

Carla said...

PuritanReformed said...

Something doesn't seem right with this new Calvinist resurgence

I couldn't agree more. In an odd sort of way it reminds me of the old wedding tradition of something old (orthodoxy), something new (postmodernism), something borrowed (inclusivism) and something blue (and I do mean language).

I realize this is broad brush I paint with here, but I can't count how many times others have made the same comment as you have made regarding something just not quite right with this so-called Calvinist resurgence.

SJ Camp said...

AB and All
A quick clarification of a term here:

Definition of Damned: a final verdict of eternal damnation; where one is sanctioned to hell, tormented forever without relenting under God's eternal wrath, and it is upon all who have rejected the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and died as unregenerated - vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. Damnation is irrevocable. You live once, die, and then the judgment.

It is irresponsible for anyone to apply this term to any living person who currently has not confessed Christ Jesus as Lord of their lives. We do not know God's eternal purpose for them if they are elect or not until they have died and the eternal state of their soul is sealed. Therefore, we are to call all men unto repentance everywhere compelling them to be reconciled to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It would be also just as irresponsible and unbiblical to apply this term to our sinless, holy Lord Jesus Christ for three main reasons: it is not used in Scripture by God to define the work of our Lord upon the cross and therefore is adding to Scripture; 2. it is totally inconsistent with the nature, character and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in God's Word; and 3. it seeks to apply to Him the status of a sinner, not exalt Him as Lord, Savior, High Priest, Prophet and King.

I will post more on this later.

Enjoy the Lord's Day...
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Christinewjc said...

Whew Steve...for a moment there I was worried! The skewed interpretation that these men share of Christ's words on the cross during the propitiation for our sins is not biblical. The true gospel message does not fit with the idea of Christ uttering "the scream of the damned."

I only read as far as the questions you posed. I have decided to stop reading, answer them, and then plan to go back and read the rest of your post (as well as the comments here).

Words matter; especially when expounding God's Word

That may be a simple and obvious sentence, but it contains profound truth!

In today's post-modern world, even well-meaning Christians can be (and are) guilty of re-phrasing things in an extra-biblical way. We must guard against such errors.
The so-called "new" scholars of today would do well to go back and read the commentaries from the masters like Spurgeon, Matthew Henry, James, Faucett and Brown etc.

Some initial questions I have about this disturbing phrase are:
is it biblical?


No!! It only serves to add confusion. At first, I thought your post was going to be about those who are condemned to hell doing the screaming. It was shocking to find that the authors of the sermon related it to Christ and his suffering on the cross.

does the Scripture speak of the substitutionary death of Jesus for the elect as Christ being damned?

No. Of course not!! That doesn't make ANY SENSE! If Jesus was ever "damned" how could He have been raised again uncorruptible? As the sinless Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, it was OUR SIN that was damned...not Jesus! Jesus took the sins of the whole world upon his earthly body. However, because Jesus never sinned himself, he alone is worthly to satisfy the penalty for OUR sin...something that we could not ever do on our own!

Jesus is holy, righteous and blameless. This is why he satisfied God the Father's righteous judgment of man's sin through the punishment of death at the cross.

However, Jesus left our sins in the grave. He rose to life everlasting and now sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.

Because of his sinless sacrifice, as believers, our sins are as "far as the east is from the west" and God the Father looks upon Christ's sacrifice as the "once for all" act to redeem us and reconcile us back before God. We are then seen as "not guilty" in His mercy and grace!

is this just cultural contextualization?

I would say yes.


is it emotionalism run amuck?

Most definitely! And the sad part is that they are spreading a kind of heresy through doing so.


is it sensationalized passion?

I think so. It appears that they wanted to add something "edgy" to their presentation. However, the danger in doing that is that they are skewing the genuine meaning and exegesis that we are supposed to get out of God's Word.

shock the flock nomenclature designed to wake up tired ears?

It certainly got my attention! But if those "tired ears" are not getting the truth, then the "shock value" isn't worth it!

is this sound doctrine, theatrics, dramatics, blasphemy, or truth?

It is not sound doctrine and therefore, not truth. It could very well be a combination of the other three choices you have listed.

Since I have not read the rest of your post yet, I may be repeating some of what you have already written.

I do think that this is just another example of "itching ears."

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2Tim 4:3-4

The error that they are espousing may not have anything to do with "lusts," however the "turned into fables" from the above verse certainly fits.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Isn't 'to be damned' a condition or action applied to the spirit only, and the only ones whom it could apply to are those who are dead of Spirit? Christ was never spiritually dead, 1 peter 3: 18-20 says that "Christ was put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit." So, since He was alive in the spirit there is no way damnation could apply!

donsands said...

"..being made a curse.." Curse; katara-- execration: to denounce as evil or detestable.


"Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" Cursed: epikataratos; execrable; accursed. These are from Strongs and the dictionary.

I truly believe this word for cursed is a very strong word Paul used. And it it's not to be taken lightly.

Of course Jesus our savior and lord was pure, perfect, and holy. But he became the Lamb, who God would condemn all of our sins, those who would come to faith in Christ.

if we think of the eternal punishment for one person for their sins, and how excruciatingly painful that is. And then multiply that by hundreds of millions of souls, and take all that suffering , so that the white hot wrath of a righteous and holy God is propitiated.
Our lord bore such pain, that we shall never even know the most minute portion of.
I was sharing with my wife this morning about the debate of this truth, and especially the verse in galatians, and we were struck by the mystery of what our glorious Savior and Friend has done for us.

Still reading, listening, and studying.

I wouldn't want to have a knee jerk reaction to some of God's proven servants, such as John Piper, and CJ Mahaney, and even others who believe Christ was cursed, and so damned for our certain condemnation, or damning.

I appreciate the passion to keep the Scriptures pure. For this is my fearful goal as well. Fearful of God, not man.

SJ Camp said...

Don
The language of Christ being damned by God is such outside the pale of orthodox language that the burden of proof is on those men who would assert such strange things to our ears.

I believe that they have given have the knee jerk reaction rather than taking the time to really unfold it biblically. I can't find anything from any of these dear brothers that goes into detail in any other writings they have penned that unpacks the phrase the "scream of the damned" anywhere.

As to Strong's and dictionaries: good tools, but they must be interpreted in context. I.e., when Jesus cursed the fig tree it has a different meaning as when He became a curse for us.

Remember, He became a curse for us; and the curse was not being damned by God, but it was the curse of the Law. What was the curse of the Law? Death. How did Christ fulfill the Law and all righteousness? By His sinless life and perfect sacrifice. Active and passive obedience.

Galatians 3:10-13 in context is not God damning Jesus, but the curse of the Law being taken upon Jesus by imputation. Damned is not synonymous with curse.

This goes to one's Christology. I believe from reading AB that he might be a little more liberal in his theology to try and justify the acrobatics he has had to do to accommodate the word damned as being appropriate to describe the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

Exegetically, there is no support for damned at all. To be honest, I cannot believe that this is even a point of discussion. A sign of the times.

Grace and truth,
Steve

SJ Camp said...

only look
pros ton theon> means "face to face."

It was used in John 1:1 to describe the deity of Christ: "and the Word was with God."

It is used to describe us having "peace with God" in Romans 5:1.

And it is used in Hebrews 2:17 to describe Jesus on the cross as our propitiation when He was "face to face" with His father. It is the phrase "in things pertaining to God..." IOW, in every way that God the Father had to be satisfied so that we could be justified: i,.e. the standard of His wrath, justice, and holiness fully met against the elect and their sins - Christ fully accomplished lacking nothing. On the cross Jesus was "face to face with His Father and the Father was "face to face" with His Son; and when the Son cried: "It Is Finished" the work of propitiating the Father and redeeming His own was done! And He did this vicariously; willingly.

The covenant of redemption that was promised in times past eternal (cf, 2 Tim. 2:9; Titus 1:1) now was fulfilled in time at Calvary and in resurrection.

Christ was our divine substitute; not our damnation beloved!

Hope this helps a bit more.

Steve

Only Look said...

Thanks Steve. That is a good and most blessed expression and so true. Praise the Lord for this truth always. This is truly a message of hope and life in the face of such horror and death.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Only Look said...

Also Steve,

You said>Exegetically, there is no support for damned at all. To be honest, I cannot believe that this is even a point of discussion. A sign of the times.<

Amen! There are so many strange things brewing in so many differant camps that it is hard to know where to fellowship or what to do and so I stay in the fellowship I am in and pray for Gods sanctification in our local body. You have people today that teach you dont even need to go to the cross to get saved. I believe we are in the great falling away and so much delusion is occuring that we must be as Gideons men...alert constantly. It is so easy to drift and say whatever and so tempting as well. Its like that point you make in the theses of Satan wanting to join the church and not fight against it and it seems we all are open to getting bit by this apostacy bug at times so we need to examine ourselves to see if their is infection lest gangrene set in and so we must meet with the Lord every day in His word staying in contact with Him giving thanks in all things and praying without ceasing. It is almost as if the evangelical church is walking over a minefield getting blown up over here and there and trying to continue to limp forward and cope by saying that this is only a figment of our imagination.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

littlegal_66 said...

Professor Caneday:
I hope that you will have an opportunity to stop back by this comment thread. I should have mentioned in my last comment, the phrase, "the foolishness of God" is found in scripture; our Lord uttering "the scream of the damned," isn’t. Also....interesting turn of events this morning--the sermon text I sat under this morning was from 1 Corinthians 1:18-31! Same as yours, plus a few more verses...(I thought that was pretty ironic).

To all:
And at the risk of veering too far off-topic, the sermon this morning really made me reconsider why I comment on blogs, especially this one. Are my motives pure or are they prideful? Do I do it just so that folks might think me clever, or funny, or insightful? Do my comments become at times a sort of “boasting?” Am I trying to impress? I must confess that on occasion, I’ve left a comment and thought, “I guess that’s pretty good….maybe someone will respond (and thereby ‘validate’ my thinking).” So, I’ve had to repent in this area today, and I’m asking the Lord to help me maintain only the proper motives when commenting in the future.

We seem to have a surplus of attempted cleverness in the body at present, anyway….

Only Look said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Only Look said...

Very well said Littlegal. I have struggled with that as well and believe God opened my eyes to it earlier in my blogging. This is so very true. I really do believe I have repented of this as well, but God knows my heart better than I and so may he continue to sanctify us here and may we all consider this. This is very good what you have discussed. I have received much chastening for this. I think this is a temptation for all of us indeed. May God continue to help us and bring to light those thing unacceptable to His representation.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

donsands said...

"A sign of the times."

However, Luther taught that Christ was cursed in the strongest terms. If he taught this 500 years ago, and of course we know what a scholar he was, and leader in the Church, then his teaching is why this same thought is taught today.

I have been very influence by Luther's teachings. And this is one that had a powerful impact on my heart.
Seeing that my Lord became a curse, and that He became sin, my sin, in order to pay my ransom, and blot out all my sins, was too amazing to believe. And I still have a difficult time accepting that Christ was made a curse for me, whether it's in the sense that Luther teaches, or in the sense that you teach.

I have to pray with my pastor, and study the Scriptures on this, for I am as of right now not sure.

i appreciate your discussing these things with me Campi.
Lord bless you and your family.

gigantor1231 said...

To All

I am a single father of 3 girls, I belong to a small church in a rural/bedroom community, I get a minimum of adult conversation. Steve's blog has been a place of refreshing for me that I look forward to for some deeper communication as well as a sharpening. I appreciate all of you, you have been like a second church family to me in some ways. Just wanted to let you know!

P.S. You help knock some of the ruff edges too.

Thank You All

SJ Camp said...

G-man
Amen. I truly appreciate the genuine biblical discourse that occurs here. I am honored to be a small part of that discussion on this and other important topics.

Don and All
I do appreciate your sincere desire my brother in pressing into this issue biblically. We must all dig deep and mine the treasure of God's Word on essential issues like this one.

You are an important voice on this blog... Keep on.
Thanks always for your thoughts.

Now, IMHO, the Problem with Luther
Luther's understanding of "cursed" was severe though he didn't actually use the word "damned."

As Paul said, Christ has rescued us "from the curse of the Law." "The curse which the law threatens, and which the execution of the law would inflict; the punishment due to sin. This must mean, that he has rescued us from the consequences of transgression in the world of woe; he has saved us from the punishment which our sins have deserved." (Barnes)

His skewed theology on this point of "the curse" went deeper into error.

Quoting Luther:
“And this, no doubt, all the prophets did foresee in spirit, that Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, and blasphemer, THAT EVER WAS OR COULD BE IN THE WORLD. For he, being made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, is not now an innocent person, and without sins; is not now the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary; but a sinner which hath and carrieth the sin of Paul, who was a blasphemer, an oppressor, and a persecutor; of Peter, which denied Christ; of David, which was an adulterer, a murderer, and caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of the Lord; and, briefly, which hath and beareth all the sins of all men in his body: not that he himself committed them, but for that he received them, being committed or done
of us, and laid them upon his own body, that he might make satisfaction for them with his own blood. Therefore, this general sentence of Moses comprehendeth him also, (albeit in his own person he was innocent,) because it found him amongst sinners and transgressors; like as the magistrate taketh him for a thief, and punisheth him whom he findeth among other thieves and transgressors, though he never committed anything worthy of death. When the law, therefore, found him among thieves, it condemned and killed him as a thief.” “If thou wilt deny him to be a sinner and accursed, deny also that he was crucified and dead.”

“But if it be not absurd to confess and believe that Christ was crucified between two thieves, then it is not absurd to say that he was accursed, and OF ALL SINNERS THE GREATEST.”

“God, our most merciful Father, sent his only Son into the world, and laid upon him all the sins of all men, saying, be thou Peter, that denier; Paul, that persecutor, blasphemer, and cruel oppressor; David, that adulterer; that sinner which did eat the apple in paradise; that thief which hanged upon the cross; and briefly, be thou the person which hath committed the sins of all men: see, therefore, that thou pay and satisfy for them.”—


(Luther on the Galatians, chap. iii. 13, (pp. 213—215; Edit. Loud., 1838.)

Luther was a great and holy man. He held, as firmly as any one can, to the personal holiness of the Redeemer. But this language shows how imperfect and erroneous views may warp the language of holy men; and how those sentiments led him to use language which is little less than blasphemy.

No wonder the Apostle Paul has said, "follow me as I follow Christ." And we only follow men, any man, as long as they follow Christ. When they depart from orthodoxy, as Luther did on this point, we reject their teaching, on this point.

In like manner, when dear men of God say that Jesus Christ on the cross was "God Damned" or was "the scream of The Damned" - then on that point, we must reject their teaching.

That doesn't mean that we reject them or other excellent things that they teach that line up with Scripture. And it doesn't mean that we don't appreciate their ministries and all that they are doing for the kingdom.

I do appreciate CJ, Piper, and Alcorn as ministers of the gospel; and am grateful for their respective ministries. But, we must follow Christ on this beloved, than to pacify error because of who said it rather than what was being said. The cult of personality is not the biblical plumbline in measuring what is orthodox.

There are no Protestant Popes... and nor there should be. Amen?

To the Band of Bereans,
Steve.

SJ Camp said...

Clarification
Luther's understanding of "cursed" was severe though he didn't actually use the word "damned."

As Paul said, Christ has rescued us "from the curse of the Law." "The curse which the law threatens, and which the execution of the law would inflict; the punishment due to sin. This must mean, that he has rescued us from the consequences of transgression in the world of woe; he has saved us from the punishment which our sins have deserved." (Barnes)

His skewed theology on this point of "the curse" went deeper into error.


The middle paragraph is the orthodox view and Barnes' words give clarity on this. They were not Luther's. I thought I might have worded it awkwardly.

The "his skewed view..." is to be applied to what follows not what preceded.

My bad,
Thanks for your patience.
Campi

Only Look said...

My personal favorite teacher today is Dr Erwin Lutzer. I know sometimes reference is made that he is weak on some points, but as I listen to him preach I often hear him listening to himself preach very carefully. I don't think it is to please people, I think he tries to be careful about each word he uses from the pulpit. He is somewhere between a free grace and Lordship teacher, but I often find myself agreeing with Him most, yet I know he is not perfect either. Still, when I was wrestling with this whole passive and active obedience thing...he was teaching that very thing and quoting Piper a lot, yet being very careful and at one point he stressed that we must make Luthers point legally. He legally became the worst sinner for us in our place and legally took on the curse, but was not in any point defiled in His rigteousness and it has to be so or His sacrifice to God would be unnacceptable which it was not. He was pure and lived a perfectly pure life completely fulfilling every point of the law and so legally he was under the curse, but His life broke the curse. He broke the curse. He did not become damned. He broke damnation and led captivity captive. Praise God.

Listen to Lutzer some. Even though he may seem weak on points, I really think it is in reverance and fear of God. I am very blessed and encouraged in the faith by His teaching and He is very Calvanistic in His perspective but refrains from claiming the label. It is good to be cautious, but none of us are perfect.

This blog has meant a lot over the past three years. I feel like I have grown so much and echo the comment made by the other dear brother of this community here. Sometimes I wish we in our church could sharpen iron as we are able to do here, but I am thankful nevertheless to be part of a local body that does have a good expositional teacher in the word of God. Our pastor is closest to John MacArthur in his exposition in my opion. I like MacArthur too, but find I often agree the closest to Dr Erwin Lutzer. I am somewhere between a Lordshipper and a Free Gracer so I thank you Lordshippers for allowing me to fellowship here.

:-)

Grace upon grace,

Brian

donsands said...

"There are no Protestant Popes"

Amen.

"Unless I am convinced by the testimonies of the Holy Scriptures or evident reason (for I believe in neither the Pope nor councils alone, since it has been established that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures that I have adduced, and my conscience has been taken captive by the Word of God; and I am neither able nor willing to recant, since it is neither safe nor right to act against conscience. God help me. Amen." -Luther

I shall take your thoughts to heart Steve. Thanks.

Deb_B said...

"P.S. You help knock some of the ruff edges too."

Gigantor1231, brother mine by grace, my beloved and I do so admire your determined, earnest contention for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints!

Deb_B said...

"There are no Protestant Popes... and nor there should be. Amen?"

A hearty Amen!

Carla said...

Steve said:

"No wonder the Apostle Paul has said, "follow me as I follow Christ." And we only follow men, any man, as long as they follow Christ. When they depart from orthodoxy, as Luther did on this point, we reject their teaching, on this point."

First, amen. But wait, there's more! ;-)

For whatever reason (and I can think of several), we all have this tendency to put on a pedestal whoever is most influential to us. For some it's Luther, others lift up Calvin, the more contemporary heros of the faith in the eyes of many would be MacArthur, Piper, Dever, Sproul, White, or Bridges. Women teachers certainly aren't excempt from this either, although there are far fewer sound women teachers out there, I'd also name Martha Peace and Nancy Pearcy among those who are modern heros of the faith to many of the sisters reading this. The very idea that someone would have the audacity however (like I just did), to come along and say that we've put someone on a pedestal, immediately puts us on the defense. But it's true and if we're honest with ourselves we'd have to admit it's true. We like them, we learn from them and we're challenged by their ministry and we do NOT want them to be wrong or in error about anything - ever. Problem with that is, we're all wrong about something, somewhere. Not one of us has fully arrived at 100% biblical wisdom and insight, regardless of the gift of preaching and teaching that the Lord has blessed some with. In other words, they're still just men, and still just women, and in some area, somewhere, they are going to be wrong.

As Steve so clearly put it, there is great blessing in appreciating the ministry of these men that we are so blessed to have be named among us, but where they're wrong, we need to get to a place where we're not going to blow a gasket because someone dared to say "they're wrong here". We need to get to that place that we're okay with the idea that they may be wrong on this issue or that one, without trying so hard to make excuses for them, or say things like "well, what they really meant was this..." when what they really meant was what they really said. We need to be in a place where it's okay to see a post like this one here, without shooting the messenger because he or she DARED to question, challenge or refute the Famous Pastor. When I see that, to me it says far more about the shooter, than the messenger.

It's not that complicated really, I mean do we not all go to church with brothers and sisters JUST like this? We love them, we appreciate their gifts tremendously, and we're blessed by them... but do we agree with them 100% on EVERY point of doctrine? Likely not, I'm sure.

My apologies if I just repeated what someone else has said, but sometimes I think we need to hear the same things again and again.

SDG,
Carla

Only Look said...

Well put Carla

Deb_B said...

"We need to be in a place where it's okay to see a post like this one here, without shooting the messenger because he or she DARED to question, challenge or refute the Famous Pastor."

Amen, Carla. Well said, all of it.

Lin said...

"Unfortunately, that is true. Something doesn't seem right with this new Calvinist resurgence"

I agree. I think this gentleman put his finger on one aspect of what went wrong with it:

http://www.andrewsandlin.net/?p=688

donsands said...

"..what they really meant was what they really said." -Carla

I believe Luther meant what he taught, and he said those who deny his teaching were wrong.

Steve believes Luther is wrong in his teaching.

I'm not sure.

I guess I do put some of God's pastors and teachers on a pedestal. I need to watch this as one of the sheep. I even put my own pastor up there.

I would have to think that I am more wrong than they. And yet the Scriptures rule in both our lives.
They say the Scriptures rule, and we say the Scriptures rule.

So back to the Sriptures for me. I am taking Steve's teaching, and concerns to heart. And to my pastor.

Have a blessed day in Christ our soevereign Lord.

A. B. Caneday said...

Today, after I returned from traveling for a full day of ministry on the Lord's Day, I discovered about forty comments since my last of three intermittent comments offered last week.

The sheer number of comments even apart from the amount of misunderstanding exhibited toward my comments would render it foolish for me to try to unravel all the confusion and incorrect speculation that has been posted in response to my comments. The Spirit, given my previous experiences, arrests me from making any attempt to correct the record because the vortex of emotionally laden comments would almost surely increase exponentially.

I may regret stopping by to explain why I cannot prudently devote any further time to try to rehabilitate this conversation as it pertains to things that I have written. Nevertheless, I thought that the Christian thing to do would be to explain why the Spirit and prudence beckon me to avoid stepping back into a conversation that is escalating towards quarreling about words because misunderstanding continues to dominate the conversation. Therefore, I believe that I am warranted to fear that any attempt to correct numerous misunderstandings concerning my comments will exponentially propagate further misunderstandings.

Blessings to all!

nextverse said...

Thanks to Steve and all for your careful thoughts - I am in hearty agrement that the characterization of our Savior as "the Damned" is beyond the bounds of the revealed truth of what He did on the cross. Any argument that suggests it is in any way appropriate language is, well, just an argument.

Having said that - I'd like to see us chew on this a bit ... it seems those seeking to defend an orthodox, reformed faith (and I would count RC, CJ, and Piper here) are driven in an unhealthy way for an "audience". We want to win the day - we want to gain the upper hand in the debate. Driven by this passion (without questioning the passion) we have developed an elaborate structure of conference "forums" now available to so many (the audience) which are becoming, in many ways, The Official Forum of Evangelical Conviction.

My point? The local church suffers from this pursuit. Thus, the cause of Christ suffers from this pursuit. The sensationalism that is inherent in these forums has surely motivated any number of casual, flippant (and worse) remarks from the podium. Outside the careful, loving accountability of the local fellowship the man of God serving the Word of God is prone to have his weaknesses exposed.

Then, the other "forum" for evangelical dialogue must step in - the blogosphere - and seek to right the ship.

I'm thankful for any momentum that "the faith once for all delivered" gains - but I'm cautious when that momentum is gained largely outside the local church.

In attending a Shepherds' Conference some years ago there was a challenge to the pastors gathered there - paraphrasing: "As you look around and enjoy the company of these like-minded servants (2500 plus) be reminded ... we are not a majority! This is not a popularity contest and if it were we are somewhere near last place! Rally around the truth - don't rally around the excitement created by the truth."

I think CJ and Piper were moved by the excitement and disconnected from the truth - if only for a moment.

I'll be reading the blogs tomorrow (again) and I'll likely continue to attend 2 conferences a year - but I pray I'll never forget that the work of the pastor is a local, in the trenches work - stinky labor among stinky sheep among whom I am glad to be numbered.

As Paul said - regarding faithful ministry - already I am being poured out.

Much Grace,
Steve Wilson

SJ Camp said...

nextverse
I am in hearty agrement that the characterization of our Savior as "the Damned" is beyond the bounds of the revealed truth of what He did on the cross. Any argument that suggests it is in any way appropriate language is, well, just an argument.

Bingo!

Those that are trying to justify the use of "Damned" as a new proper name for Jesus on the cross, have had to proof-text their argument rather than appeal to Scripture alone.

To me, calling Jesus Christ the Lord - the scream of the damned makes as much sense as this.

Thanks Steve for your words here.
Campi
2 Tim. 2:15

SJ Camp said...

ab caneday
I may regret stopping by to explain why I cannot prudently devote any further time to try to rehabilitate this conversation as it pertains to things that I have written.

This conversation doesn't need rehabilitation, we've kept on - you bowed out. There is a difference my brother.

I thought that the Christian thing to do would be to explain why the Spirit and prudence beckon me to avoid stepping back into a conversation that is escalating towards quarreling about words because misunderstanding continues to dominate the conversation.

The only ones who are quarreling about words are the ones who don't have Scripture to justify the "God Damned Jesus on the cross" apocryphal claim.

Therefore, I believe that I am warranted to fear that any attempt to correct numerous misunderstandings concerning my comments will exponentially propagate further misunderstandings.

IOW, I have no biblical argument to make; everyone sees I don't have a biblical argument to make, so I will just blame all of you for completely misunderstanding my words because any attempt by myself to further explain my outside the purview of orthodoxy claims will result in further misunderstandings of my own words.

Blah, blah, blah... That is the Nashville Two Step done to a tee.

With all due respect AB, either defend your assertions or not, but don't blame others, or the Spirit, for your inability to make the biblical case.

From the front lines,
Steve
2 Tim. 2:15

Cindy said...

These teachings about Christ being damned are not surprising considering that both men are affiliated with CBMW. I can only assume that it is the official position of CBMW that Jesus is a special purpose God who has less authority that God the Father and cannot even answer prayer. They ascribe a hierarchy to relationships between the Divine Three in the Trinity. So it does not surprise me that they would conclude that Christ would be downgraded in this way as well.

I am also impressed and reminded of a similar teaching that had only a little press in the Word of Faith movement that taught that Jesus died and had to be born again of the Spirit in hell because He was made to be the very embodiment of our sins. His nature and essence was changed to pure evil in the forensic bearing of the penalty of our sins according to Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Ken Copeland and others. Hank Hanegraaff did a series of radio programs and I believe that he offered a tape on it that I first heard in the mid to late '90s. I had just come out of Word of Faith, and it was quite something to hear these teachers who I had always thought were orthodox save for the intramural issue of tongues actually say these things in audio recordings.

During a presentation on a growing fringe group associated with homeschooling, someone in the audience asked me if I thought these folks were pelagian. I believe that is truly what rests at the center of this teaching. I believe that Christ as the embodiment of "The Cry of the Damned" stems directly from these ideas that Jesus is lesser, ideas that they use to bolster intramural gender arguments, attaching them to the nature of God.

Jesus, the King of the Universe ends up downgraded into less than the full deity of the Father. Those who believe it can only venture into greater and greater depths of error, following the logical conclusions of these presuppositions. Both those in CBMW that teach that Christ is a lesser God within Trinity though still of the same essence and attach that to the ontological subordination of women find an element of salvation in gender. It differs little from the Word of Faith's similar downgrading of Jesus into the Cosmic Bellhop.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Thanks for responding to A.B.. You are much more diplomatic than I! I wanted to say something about cloistered towers, but what you said is perfect.

Christinewjc said...

A blogger named Sosthenes at my site posted the following comment. Thought I would bring it over to this discussion. I don't think he would mind if I shared it here.

1 Cor. 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Accursed, Strong's # 331 : anathema

Blue Letter Bible

2) a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction

a) a curse

b) a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes


I would like to add that this conversation is not about a trivial matter.

Take a look at how seriously God's Word treats those who "preach another gospel":

Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.


Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.


Check out the Concordance on each of the words in the above verses.

Further, note Paul's words regarding pleasing God vs. pleasing men:

Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.


Gal 1:11 ¶ But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.


Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.


The bottom line regarding the debate here is that IMHO, Steve is persuading others towards the truth of God's Word. Sometimes such truth dispels the errors of (even well-meaning) men.

Steve is doing his work here correctly. His job is not to please men.

Just my opinion, of course.

PuritanReformed said...

Cindy:

>I can only assume that it is the official position of CBMW that Jesus is a special purpose God who has less authority that God the Father and cannot even answer prayer. They ascribe a hierarchy to relationships between the Divine Three in the Trinity. So it does not surprise me that they would conclude that Christ would be downgraded in this way as well.

This is a serious misrepresentation of the complementarian position, and I call you on that. To say that Jesus submits to the Father functionally does not mean that He is a lesser deity in the Trinity. Whatever the faults of Piper and Mahaney, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the biblical theory of complementarianism. So please rescind your unfounded accusation now.

Cindy said...

Puritan Reformed,

The point has nothing to do with the complementarian position, as I am a soft complementarian myself. I mentioned that only because both men mentioned are strongly affiliated with CBMW from whence these teachings on the Trinity originated. Complementarianism itself has nothing to do with the discussion, but I was establishing that the teachings on the Trinity, if they are shared by these men would definitely be contributory to a view that Jesus was "damned" by God on the Cross. It is the same type of teachings that came out of the Word of Faith movement several years ago.

Both men share platforms and churches and venues with those who directly teach that Jesus was/is ETERNALLY subordinate to the Father within the Trinity. I believe that that concept is very relevant here. The modern version of subordinationist teachings arose out of a need to bolster up the complemenarian argument, but it is not their origins that are of concern to me but the teaching and the concept that Jesus is of lesser authority than the Father.

In private communications with a friend of mine, Ware (who authored a book on his skewed view about the Trinity) admits that Jesus does not have the authority to hear or answer prayer and had to get permission to create, heal or perform miracles. There are also all kinds of similar things written in his books and available in all sorts of audio on the topic.

So I agree with you. None of this has anything to do with Mahaney and Piper being complemenarian (as I am myself). It has everything to do with the Deity of Christ.

I would think that if Piper and Mahaney had a problem with Ware's teachings on the Doctrine of God, we would have heard the noise of it across Christendom. But there has been no comment.

If you would like me to rescind something, I'd prefer that you offer an detailed refutation first, and one that at least approximates my refutation (and that of men like Giles and Robert K. Wright), then I might consider re-evaluating what I've put forth. But I choose to stand my my opinion that at the core of the view that Christ was "damned" on the Cross is likely fruit of a belief in hierarchy within the Trinity.

You clearly do not agree with my assessment that a belief in a hierarchy within the Trinity does not have anything to do with this teaching. That's fine. I respect your opinion. Many people do not agree with my perspective, and I respect that.

Can we politely agree to disagree on this matter?

Christinewjc said...

Well said, Cindy. People can get so testy when it comes to accuracy in apologetics.

You wrote:

"Both men share platforms and churches and venues with those who directly teach that Jesus was/is ETERNALLY subordinate to the Father within the Trinity. I believe that that concept is very relevant here. The modern version of subordinationist teachings arose out of a need to bolster up the complemenarian argument, but it is not their origins that are of concern to me but the teaching and the concept that Jesus is of lesser authority than the Father.

Note what Jesus stated in these verses:

Jhn 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?

Jhn 10:30 I and [my] Father are one.


We are only human and are prone to error unless we strictly adhere to what God's Word reveals to us.

I think it is healthy to discuss important issues like this one in order to prevent any gradual (or quick) slide into heresy.

It isn't a question of who is ultimately correct in these debates...it's the revelation of God's Truth that wins the day.

Pro 15:10 Correction [is] grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: [and] he that hateth reproof shall die.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


All of us need to head the message of those verses...including me. Correction by other believers is good. I find myself being very grateful when corrected according to Scripture. I think it behooves us all to have such an attitude. We can't let pride get in the way.

When I was a "babe in Christ" and had not studied the Bible yet, I leaned upon the following verse. After over 20 years of study, I still do!

1Cr 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

God bless your day and your walk with Christ.

donsands said...

"We can't let pride get in the way."

Pride grips my heart at times like a vise tightened to hold an iron pipe in place.
But the Lord is stronger than this grip, and He loosenes the vise with His grace.
He makes us humble by His grace and kindness, which leads us to repentance.
And Jesus receives all the glory. And we're thrilled to give Him all the glory as well!

Still studying this truth of Christ being made a curse. I'm grateful that Steve challenged Luther's commentary on this verse. I pray that we would all grow in the grace and knowledge of the lord Jesus Christ, and become stronger for His kingdom's cause, and for the preaching of the Gospel in this very dark and perverse age, where we have be brought out of, and into His marvelous light. Amen and amen.

SJ Camp said...

To All
Good word Don.

It looks like this thread is naturally coming to a close. I want to say that this has been a very rewarding discussion and profitable dialogue.

A couple of conclusions from this:

1. it's hard to think biblically and to constrain our thoughts according to the truth of Scripture; but on all issues of faith, it must be our authority.

2. when we see controversial phrases or assertions made, our first response should be that of faithful Bereans in examining those things in light of God's Word to see if they are so.

3. men of God who have become well known and beloved pastors, authors, artists, preachers, evangelists, etc. are not in themselves the text of orthodoxy AND does not mean their words are automatically doctrinally sound and to be trusted. Further, it does not place them above scrutiny. In fact, the wider their influence, the greater the scrutiny.

4. on the essentials of the faith, biblical language must prevail over cultural or provocative terminology.

5. lastly, we should approach these kinds of explosive issues with humility, teachability and prayer.

The phrase, the scream of the damned, is an unbiblical phrase that does not represent biblical truth. While the word Trinity is an unbiblical term, it clearly represents essential biblical truth, "the scream of the damned" does not and should be rejected.

Let us continue to pray for CJ, Piper, and Alcorn that their hearts and minds would be continually strengthened by the Word of God and that they would be guarded from error, dramatics in preaching, cultural pragmatics, and the influence of the emerging and emergent church.

May they seek not to be provocative or clever, but clear.

Grace and peace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Carla said...

Steve said:

"Let us continue to pray for CJ, Piper, and Alcorn that their hearts and minds would be continually strengthened by the Word of God and that they would be guarded from error, dramatics in preaching, cultural pragmatics, and the influence of the emerging and emergent church."

Amen, and may the same be said for each of us as well. It's very easy to be influenced by the wrong things, and very against out fallen nature to receive correction on such matters.

Only Look said...

Amen on the clarity especially. For all of us really.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

PuritanReformed said...

Cindy:

You previously said:
"Both those in CBMW that teach that Christ is a lesser God within Trinity though still of the same essence and attach that to the ontological subordination of women find an element of salvation in gender."

My question to you is: Do you have evidence to back that accusation up, or is that because you are reading into what the writers actually mean when they talk about the Son submitting to the Father in doing His will (ie functionally)?

>Both men share platforms and churches and venues with those who directly teach that Jesus was/is ETERNALLY subordinate to the Father within the Trinity.

Proof please?


>You clearly do not agree with my assessment that a belief in a hierarchy within the Trinity does not have anything to do with this teaching. That's fine. I respect your opinion. Many people do not agree with my perspective, and I respect that.
>
>Can we politely agree to disagree on this matter?

If by that you mean that we agree to disagree on the view that a hierarchy within the Trinity does not necessitates subordinationism, then my counter-question to you is this: Can you then not read every reference to subordination of the Son to the Father as a reference to subordinationism? IF yes, we can agree to disagree.

Cindy said...

Puritan Reformed,

The proof is well noted in an examination of both the pro and contra of the understanding of Trinity.

Bruce Ware has authored a book on the Trinity, explaining his views on his view of hierarchy with the Trinity. That is as good of a place to start as any. There are also the references that Russell Moore has made claiming that those who do not share their views are open theists. Every single audio download on CBMW includes these Trinity references. (Again, I am not concerned about and respect these men's views about gender so far as they do not dilute the deity of Christ, but this view is an essential part of their gender teachings and thus is the only reason why I mention CBMW as a source of evidence regarding their views about the Trinity.)

And though I do not believe that the Word of God advocates women functioning as pastors or elders, there is much evidence (audio clips in some cases) critiquing what I hold to be aberrant views about the Trinity at www.strivetoenter.com/wim. Select the Trinity tag and read there to your heart's content. Again, I do not believe that the Bible teaches that women should be pastors or elders, but there are also critiques of Subordinationism within the Trinity available in the free resources section on www.cbeinternational.org.

I did not happen on to these resources until after I had reviewed Ware's materials in particular fairly thoroughly. Amazed that all Baptists were not up in arms over these teachings, I started searching the internet and discovered the aforementioned critiques and two books authored by an Anglican professor and vicar named Kevin Giles. His book "Jesus and the Father" provides a far more thorough critique of the topic than I could ever hope to present in this forum, especially considering that this matter is only a tangent in regard to the man topic. Giles' first book on the same topic relates more to the gender debate, but that title, "The Trinity and Subordinationism" might be of interest to you as well as there is a great deal of evidence to my claims in that document.

It is my solemn and well-considered belief that there is not a hierarchy within the Trinity and that presupposing that there is one leads to aberrant and false doctrine. One of the first publications suggesting that there was such a hierarchy came from George Knight III in his 1977 book. Perhaps you might be interested in that as well.

As I have stated repeatedly, I believe that the hierarchical view of the Divine Three within the Trinity as presented in several publications featuring Piper's name in particular along with the participation of Piper and Mahaney in organizations and with other ministers that profess an hierarchical view is very much self evident.

May God bless His Church and continue to lead and guide all of us into greater truth and the wisdom of the knowledge of our Redeemer. Until such time that we are all brought into the unity of the faith, I pray that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened and that the Holy Spirit would anoint us to ever more clearly hear the voice of the truth of the Word.

May God work a divine miracle in these matters that we might faithfully represent the Word of God and also be known, more and more, for our love for one another. On that we had best agree!

PuritanReformed said...

Cindy:

I asked you:
Can you then not read every reference to subordination of the Son to the Father as a reference to subordinationism?

ISTM that your answer is no? I will read more into the egalitarian views and Ware's book on the Trinity when I am free to do so but from what I have seen so far, it doesn't seem as if you or the egalitarians are allowing any differentiation between the two (subordination and subordinationism) to exist. I'm sure you heard of the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son from the Father right? If this is taken to be orthodox (and I do not see why not since this is basic historical Christology), then most definitely more proof than just an isolated phrase here and there will be required in order to claim that Ware et al are teaching subordinationism, instead of orthodox Christology.

SJ Camp said...

Cindy
While I appreciate your questions on the Trinity, this is not the thread for that discussion.

May I encourage you to take this discussion to your own blog or wait for a post on this theme here and then bring up your questions then.

Thank you,
Steve

Cindy said...

Thank you for being so gracious, Steve.

There are copious resources on this topic and the peripheral issues such as this example of this blog topic already on my blog and my website. I think that they demonstrate quite well that I have not made rash and unreasoned assumptions, such as was insinuated here.

I appreciate your kindness.

Grace and peace!

Derek Joseph said...

Steve, I appreciate your wrestling with this issue. The word 'damn' carries a lot of cultural baggage, and obviously has a multiplicity of meanings.

As far as this being 'biblical,' the word translated 'to damn' in Rom. 14:23, which is related to the word used in 2 Thess. 2:12, is used of Jesus in Rom. 8:3.

I'm not sure if the argument is about whether Jesus experienced the full brunt of an eternal hell in finite time or not, but maybe it should be.

SJ Camp said...

Derek:
Thank you for your comment in this discussion.

One brief point of clarification for you: in Romans 8:3, sin is what is being condemned, not Jesus Christ.

Steve

Coram Deo said...

Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to speak to this important issue.

To be quite honest I hadn't heard about this flap until coming across a link to this article over at Christian Research Network.

There seems to be so much happening now within the broader professing church that it's difficult to keep up with the information explosion.

For example as of late I've been somewhat preoccupied with the recent dust up that's occurred due to Ray Comfort's appearance at a WoF heretics conference (for the third year in a row) and the scriptural fencing that's taken place over these speaking engagements.

Not to sidetrack this thread, but have you looked into or offered any commentary the Ray Comfort/WoF situation at all?

In Christ,
CD

Coram Deo said...

Steve,

Since I don't believe in coincidences I must believe that God's providence brought me to the following piece from John Piper dated February 27th, 2005 which is entitled "God's Wrath: "Vengeance Is Mine, I Will Repay," Says the Lord".

I was researching this piece because it was linked from another blog as a resource for defending the Biblical truth of the doctrine of hell over and against the myriads who despise and reject this doctrine, but I was shocked to hear Piper make the statement near the beginning of this sermon that Jesus Christ was damned on the cross.

Now you'll need to listen to the audio because the statement didn't make it into the sermon transcript, but beginning at about the 1:18 mark Piper makes the statement; "Jesus Christ perfectly righteous and perfectly damned on the cross in our place".

As I mentioned in my prior quote I'd never heard about this matter until today and suddenly I've stumbled across it twice now.

I pray that this matter will be earnestly and prayerfully resolved with all gravity.

In Christ,
CD

Highland Host said...

personally I see what they were trying to communicate, that Christ suffered the wrath of God on the cross in our place. Historic Reformed writers back to Calvin have interpreted the 'descended into hell' in the Apostles' Creed as referring to Christ suffering the pains of hell on the cross (not afterwards), and in charity I assume that is what Piper and Mahaney are referring to. Certainly I doubt that they mean to side with Word-Faith heretics who deny that it really was finished on the cross. I see what they intended to say. As for the cross being the most sinful event in human history, it was! It was man crucifying God! Yet where that sin abounded, God's grace did much more abound, so that it was also the most glorious event in history!

Wouldn't use the word, but I won't condemn someone else for doing so

Don said...
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Don said...
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Jesse P. said...

If Christ's death was truly was substitutionary, in the sense that he bore what we deserved, the question becomes did we deserve to be damned?

Did our sins deserve damnation?

If the answer's yes, then this is what Christ must have endured if his death was substitutionary as you pointed out.

If our sins deserve damnation, yet Christ bore something less than damnation, then his death wasn't fully substitutionary.

Anyway, thought provoking article. That is my opinion, for what it's worth.

Don said...
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Deb_B said...

"This is what I wish to retract from my first comment, above:"

What a clever, disingenuous method for continuing to assert your position on CJ, Don.

If you truly wish to "retract" your judgments of CJM's motives/heart, there is a little delete trashcan at the very bottom of all of your posts in this thread.

Now, as for myself, if I wanted to redact a portion of one of my posts in a thread, I'd simply delete the WHOLE post and re-post it without the judgmental, offensive portions.

...but, then, that's what I'd do if it was really my intention to redact part of my post cause I was under conviction I'd spoken awry, virtually speaking. I wouldn't reiterate the inappropriate parts of my previous post by incorporating it repetitively into yet another post in the thread, but that's just me.

Don said...
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Don said...

Deb, I was unaware of the little trashcan tool until you informed me of it. I appreciate that. I don't appreciate your calling into question my statement, as though you can read and judge the intentions of *my* heart.

I will use the trashcan tool to delete my comments, make edits, and re-post revised versions.

Deb_B said...

"I don't appreciate your calling into question my statement, as though you can read and judge the intentions of *my* heart."

You're right, my brother, I did jump the gun in assuming you knew you could delete your initial post, redact the portions you cited as inappropriate and re-post the amended comments.

Please forgive me to firing off like that. I did indeed assume something I ought not to have. Inappropriate on my part, very much so.

Reading over your lengthy posts here, I get your point: You have an issue with CJM and his 10 year focus on the cross.

In previous posts in this thread, I've already addressed my views regarding the shocking declaration that our Lord Jesus Christ was "damned" by God on the cross for our salvation.

From a systematic Biblical perspective, I am adamantly opposed to that declaration, FYI. I do NOT believe our Lord Jesus Christ was "damned".

May our Lord bless and keep you, my brother.

Don said...

Thank you, Deb, for your response. I certainly do forgive you.

Jim B. said...

Steve,

You said, “The Scream of the Damned seems like language that is meant to provoke thought, solicit listenership, entice questions and entreat discussion rather than expound and exegete Scripture.”

Exactly. With all due respect, why have we bunched our undies over this? Christ was FORSAKEN BY GOD, BECAME A CURSE, BECAME SIN... but He wasn’t “damned”. Aren’t we parsing words here? Any reasonable observer, yourself included, realizes the phrase wasn’t intended to be a precise exegesis of any particular text(s). I’m not arguing for the phrase as particularly useful or helpful, but, in its context, it certainly isn’t heretical.

And why does Sproul get a pass? Because he used the word "with reservation"? What is that supposed to mean? Did Piper and Mahaney use it WITHOUT reservation?

I just don't get it. All this hair-splitting seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

God Bless

Margaret said...

To take such a sentence and blow it all out of proportion, without a fair comparison to the rest of Piper's teachings on atonement, seems grossly unfair to me.

It seems to me to be a simple case of misplaced semantics. One could take that sentence in many ways, and seemingly many have automatically assumed that Piper was deviating from the church's traditional view of atonement.

I agree that it certainly could have been worded differently, but I do not think from reading a good deal of Piper's teachings on the atonement that he meant anything like what this and other blogs are suggesting.

I have no connection with the man, but I do think he has been found guilty by assumption alone. I challenge anyone here to read the rest of his teachings on the cross and then come up with the same conclusion that this post has done.

Controversy is also created when things are taken out of context. I believe that is what has happened in this case.

Nick said...

It seems very clear to me that Steve is disturbed by what is in fact word games. Yes the phrase "Jesus was damned" sounds bad, but even Luther spoke like that:

"So then, gaze at the heavenly picture of Christ, who descended into hell for your sake and was forsaken by God as one eternally damned when he spoke the words on the cross, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!” - “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” In that picture your hell is defeated and your uncertain election is made sure. (Luther, Martin. “Treatise on Preparing to Die.”)"


The problem is is that Steve you still affirm God poured out his Fury Wrath on Jesus in the place of the elect, THAT is the same as being damned! Undergoing God's eternal wrath is equivalent to being damned, the only 'difference' is that Jesus underwent this wrath in a finite span of time. That's Penal Substitution. You cannot say one way of saying it is blasphemy while the equivalent expression is affirmed.

What is most astonishing is how you are up in arms about the term "damned" not being in Scripture, yet Scripture never speaks of God's Wrath being poured out on Christ

That's what the Reformed Gospel teaches, and that's one main reason why I reject Sola Fide and am Catholic (which teaches satisfaction without needing PS).

Chris "Jesdisciple" said...
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Chris "Jesdisciple" said...

Nick's indifference is intriguing to me... Maybe some us are too close to the issue to see it clearly?

Anyway, I agree with him that Piper etc. make a good theological point, although I think the term "damned" is inaccurate. I will not defend Piper etc. on that point; however, I think the theological point represented by their misuse of the term is valid. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to articulate it clearly, but then I found that someone did it for me:

A. B. Caneday said:
> The eternal Son of God did not need to endure God’s wrath eternally in order to redeem us, for he, bore God’s eternal wrath due unto us in the compressed time that he was upon the cross precisely because he is the Eternal One.

The rest of the source paragraph addresses an issue which confuses me, but I’ve addressed that elsewhere. I think the definition used here can be expressed as follows: Damnation is the dealing of God’s infinite wrath upon one’s spirit. As Caneday explained, Christ’s spirit was able to sustain this within a small period of time because He too is infinite; He never died spiritually because He is even more infinite than the damnation of all mankind.

So I don’t think that Piper, Mahaney, and others who use such terminology are necessarily in theological error. They are, however, miscommunicating the center of the Gospel, and I think that’s something for them to correct. On the other hand, some of the writings quoted in those comments (Luther’s for example) may well be heresy; I haven’t taken the time to understand all of them.

Grant said...

I am writing dangerously because I only read about 20 posts and it seems that we are missing the obvious point that Mahaney and Piper are making. Namely, WE are "the damned", not Jesus!

Mahaney and Sproul make it explicit that he screamed it "for us". That means that believers will never suffer the agony of hell because Jesus suffered "for us", we do not bear our sin because Jesus bore our sin "for us", we will never scream the scream of the damned, because Jesus screamed it "for us". He died my death. He suffered my punishment. He took my sin. He screamed my scream. This is nothing more than the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, which is another phrase not mentioned in the Bible, yet defended here (in a post decrying unbiblical phraseology no less!).

Of course they know this is provocative! Jesus' death for us is a scandal. How do you convey that - truthfully - to a generation of Church kids who "know everything" and are shocked by nothing? This is good and faithful preaching. I have resolved to listen to this sermon every Holy Week.

That does not discount your excellently written post. If you have already discussed this aspect of the sermon, please direct me to the post, so that I can see what people have to say.

Esther said...

Steve, I like how you get:

"Some initial questions I have about this disturbing phrase are:
•is it biblical?
•does the Scripture speak of the substitutionary death of Jesus for the elect as Christ being damned?
•is this just cultural contextualization?
•is it emotionalism run amuck?
•is it sensationalized passion?
•shock the flock nomenclature designed to wake up tired ears?
•is this sound doctrine, theatrics, dramatics, blasphemy, or truth?

Let's look briefly at this issue."

The drama in our pulpits today.:(

Joseph Randall said...

"Damned" doesn't even come close to truly expressing what Jesus endured on the cross. He was more than damned. It was worse than damnation!

1. He experienced the damnation of myriads of sinners that no man can count.

2. He fully satisfied the infinite wrath of God in a finite amount of time because He Himself is infinite God! The damnation of one sinner will take all eternity!

3. The damned in hell never knew God like Jesus knew God, and they love their sin and don't desire any relationship with God! But Jesus never sinned, perfectly loved and knew His Father!

Oh my! Piper is not radical enough in his language of what Jesus endured! Jesus was more than damned! It was the scream of the more than damned by infinity!

Oh Brothers! Let's learn how to the preach the cross rightly and not dishonor our great King Jesus by saying He was merely damned in our place!!

Joseph Randall said...

PS Spurgeon himself did teach what I'm saying, by the way: What Jesus endured on the cross was worse than being damned to hell forever:

"Can we at all imagine the state of mind in which our Lord was when He cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” No, that is not possible, yet I will try to help you to understand it. Can you imagine the misery of a lost
soul in Hell—one who is forsaken of God and who cries, in bitterest agony, “God will never look upon me in mercy, or
delight, or favor”—can you picture that sad state? Well, if you can, you will not, even then, have got anywhere near the
position of Christ—because that soul in Hell does not want God’s favor and does not seek it, or ask for it. That lost soul
is so hardened in sin that it never troubles about whether God would receive it if it repented—the truth is that it does
not want to repent! The misery that men will suffer in the world to come will be self-created misery arising out of the fact
that they loved sin so much that they brought eternal sorrow upon themselves. It must be an awful thing for a soul, in the
next world, to be without God, but, as far as its own consciousness is concerned, it will be so hardened that it will abide
without God, yet not realizing all that it has lost because it is, itself, incapable of knowing the beauty of holiness and the
perfection of the God from whom it is separated forever. Yet how different was the case of our Lord Jesus Christ when
upon the Cross! He knew, as no mere man could ever know, what separation from God meant!" Spurgeon

http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols46-48/chs2803.pdf

Eye in the Lens said...

It seems that the ante-Nicene fathers largely agreed that Jesus was never forsaken of fellowship with the Father, but only forsaken to bodily death by the Father.

Good article on that here: http://thefaithfulword.org/forsakenme.html

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