Saturday, October 25, 2008

MMFC part 2: Substitutionary Atonement

On the MMFC's website, this statement is made.
7. MMFC believes that God wishes to heal our wounds through the wounds of his Son.
In my email to them for clarification I asked,

"Would MMFC affirm the doctrine of Vicarious Substitutionary Atonement or some form of the Governmental theory of the atonement?"

To which they responded,

"The presuppositions of MMFC are left deliberately broad in certain places, again so as not to exclude advocates of various theories. We're not about taking a theoretical stand, but about providing a healing ministry that has proven itself effective in practice. The presuppositions are written to give each man the freedom to interpret them in a way that does not contradict the doctrines of his church."

In my previous post I stated that MMFC does not believe in the Gospel. The Protestant Reformation is not claiming Substitutionary Atonement as some kind of theory. It is the heart of the Gospel. It ought to be the heart of what transforms men.

Some of you may be thinking I am going a bit far. Yet, what are they explicitly stating? They are saying that various theories are not necessary for transformation. They are using other means other than what God has prescribed. Based upon their Confession, would not a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness or a Christadelphian become transformed?

The Scriptural doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement is that Christ died in my place. Christ bore the wrath of God for all of His people. By true saving faith, I entrust myself to the finished work of another and receive Christ's righteousness. There is no act that I may do to take this knowledge from my head to my heart. Can any Christian truly believe this Gospel, this Good News and not be transformed? Is not the announcement of Christ's finished work sufficient to transform His people?

Once again, it is the Gospel that causes men to do good works. It is men feeding on Christ and His Word. We must go back to the God-given means of spiritual growth, the preaching of the Gospel.

With all of the spiritual immaturity at the church in Corinth, did the Apostle Paul first appeal to "initiations" or group therapy? No, Paul first appealed to the Gospel. To do anything else is to nullify the Gospel. As Paul writes,

1Co 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1Co 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1Co 1:22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
1Co 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1Co 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
1Co 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
1Co 1:29 so that no man may boast before God.
1Co 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
1Co 1:31 so that, just as it is written, "LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD."

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