Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

What choice did God have?

3/25/11

If salvation is conditional, meaning that certain requirements must be met in order to enjoy it, then the question arises as to how those requirements were established by God. I only conceive of two possible scenarios in that regard: either God arbitrarily decided how salvation would work, meaning that he could have decided otherwise, or something constrained Him in establishing those requirements and thus they could not be otherwise.

In the orthodox story I get a strong flavor of the latter. It sounds almost like God is constrained by His character in some way. The statement that God cannot violate His basic nature or character is often encountered. The seeming implication is that God could not simply dismiss sinfulness because of His innate righteousness, holiness, justice, etc. He was compelled to seek a way to pay for man’s malfeasance and thus we have Jesus.

 

The biblical statement that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin is also supposedly a constraint on man’s salvation, but just how that rule is established is not clear. If the shedding of literal animal blood is a prerequisite for forgiveness is that requirement also a derivative of God’s nature or is it an arbitrary requirement as noted above? To see it as a result of God’s basic nature or character is strange indeed, unless God is supposed to be some kind of vampire.

 

There seem to be a multitude of essential aspects to God’s unfolding process to make salvation available through Jesus: the lineage of David, the virgin birth, sinless perfection, physical death, physical resurrection, physical return etc. etc. None of these seem remotely tied to God’s basic nature, so what is the explanation for why those aspects were chosen as essential by God? If God could have chosen differently, what lies behind the choice He did make? Does His choice make sense? Should we seek to make sense of it?

 

The basic question will always remain under the concept of a conditional salvation. Somehow the conditions were set by someone or something. Who or what was that and why are the conditions as they are? To the extent the conditions seem capricious or unreasonable to the human mind, the human mind will reject them; thus rejection is built into the process by design.

 

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