Someone close to me ended up with one of these leaflets attempting to convert a person to christianity. I read it, bemused at the approach that it used. It was almost instantaneously recognised that the tactics of Living Waters, Ray Comfort’s lot, and it was, the European version. It started off with the character thinking that he’s good, but then comparing him to a loose and inaccurate version of the 10 commandments of the Jews, finding him lacking and with no way to be seen as good again. I’ve already written about the terrible flaws I see in that approach that make it akin to deception. You can find the first part of that here.
I just want to focus a certain section of it that says the following:
God is a holy, righteous judge. He hates sin! Jesus warned that God, in his wrath, will cast all who sin against him into eternal fire “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:42). Then how can anyone get to heaven? There’s only one way … If a sinless person offered to take your punishment, then justice would be served and you could go free!”
There are two things I notice about this approach, not just one.
Firstly, I notice that after showing that a person has sinned, done wrong against a good God, then next question out of the guy’s mouth isn’t one of repentance. It’s not “wow, I haven’t been a good person, and I’ve wronged someone who has done so much for me. How do I make it right?” No, the focus of the “sinner” is “How can anyone get to heaven?” How do I get the reward? How do I get the bliss? It’s bit like a kid who keeps being spiteful to his parents, only to find out that that he’s not gonna get his present. The leaflet portrays the “sinner” as the selfish kid who just wants his present, not really caring about the actual relationship with the parent.
And in that superficial desire for the presents, the leaflet drops the “sweet” words: get an innocent or sinless person to take the punishment for you, and justice will be done.
Just think about that. First the person who gets the punishment doesn’t deserve it. This is clearly admitted since the proposed substitute is called “sinless,” which means the person is totally innocent of any crime. And then the claim is that “justice will have been done” if innocent gets the punishment of the wicked. On its very face, this isn’t justice. Justice is not “anyone pays the fine.” When the city of Sodom was threatened with destruction from God for wrongdoing, Abraham argued,
Far be it from You to do a thing such as this, to put to death the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous should be like the wicked. Far be it from You! Will the Judge of the entire earth not perform justice? (Genesis 18:25)
Abraham would see that the punishment of good people like the wicked is not justice. Justice would not be done. The law of God teaches that each man will die for his own crimes, personal responsibility. The prophets of God, Jeremiah and Ezekiel teach that the person who sins is the one who will be punished, with Ezekiel making it clear in chapter 18 of his book, verse 20, that the good deeds of the righteous is his own, and the evil deeds of the bad person is his own, no transference. Biblical justice is that a person gets what they deserve.
I believe that even according to our human sense of justice, it is unjust, it is injustice, for an innocent person to be put to death or to be sent to jail or to pay the fine for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s not a kindness, especially for selfish kids to get presents.
So the notion that innocent people dying is “justice served.” That’s a disgusting idea, the absolute perversion of justice.
But that is christianity, the root of christianity. Rank injustice is seen as a great good.
Do I need to say more?