Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - January 24, 2018
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Original Sin, part 23
  2. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Original Sin, part 23

In recent weeks, I have been discussing how rejecting the “Original Sin” of scapegoating can be liberating. I think that a stumbling block making it difficult for Christians to reject scapegoating is the popularity of substitutionary atonement theory. This theory holds that Jesus’ death was a necessary, “perfect” sacrifice to God to atone for Adam’s sin of disobedience, a sin that all humanity inherits. This sacrifice “saves” and “redeems” humanity, permitting faithful Christians to join God in heaven.

Substitutionary atonement theory holds that it was God’s desire that an innocent individual (in this case the sinless Jesus) was murdered for the benefit of others. Does this precedent put other innocent individuals at risk?

Many Christians hold substitutionary atonement theory ensures that Jesus was the final sacrifice, because sacrificial violence has become necessary for redemption or salvation. However, the logic of substitutionary atonement theory still threatens vulnerable humans and nonhumans. People might no longer worry about the path to heavenly paradise, but they still want to satisfy their terrestrial, carnal needs and desires. As long as people believe that the murder of the innocent Jesus accorded with God’s plan to save humanity, they will be open to the notion that it is acceptable to enslave humans to profit from their labor, to kill animals to satisfy food preferences, and to experiment on animals for the supposed benefit of humankind.

In essays 14-16 of this series, I discussed theological problems with substitutionary atonement theory. I will continue that exploration next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Selfishly Wanting Physical Healing

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