Who Needs Atonement?
The first thing I post on my blog every day is a hymn, and we take requests from readers. When someone asked for “In Christ Alone,” it brought to mind a controversy involving this hymn.
When Keith Getty and Stewart Townend published it in 2001, the new hymn quickly caught on. Churches in many denominations decided to include it in their hymnals.
Even the Presbyterian Church USA considered adding “In Christ Alone” to their stock of hymns: but only on one condition. The PCUSA objected to a line in the lyrics and told the authors they would have to change it before the hymn could be included in the hymnal. In fact, they even told the authors how to change it: get rid of the line, “the wrath of God was satisfied” [by Jesus’ death on the cross], and replace it with “the love of God was magnified,” which make no sense, theologically, but what the heck. When the authors refused, the PCUSA rejected their hymn.
The PCUSA is among the flattest of the flatline Protestant denominations. They are not big on orthodoxy. At their 2010 General Assembly, a lot of them dressed up as animals and pagan gods. And just try to find that embarrassing video anywhere on your computer. Insisting they were proud of what they did, they erased it from the Internet.
So, no, they don’t want any of that wrath of God business. Like, who is God, that He should be mad at anybody? And for that matter, the whole doctrine of the Atonement is a problem for many flatliners. What do we need atonement for? The only sins the PCUSA recognizes are political sins—opposing abortion, supporting Israel, Climate Change Denial, etc.—and those can be dealt with politically. Besides, as a progressive in good standing, Jesus would never forgive such awful sins. I mean, really, there is a limit!
These sins, the Left has decided, are to be purged from the culture by our schools and colleges. And the universities have coined a catch-all term for the whole kit and caboodle of ‘em.
Starting in the fall semester, Stanford University will hold powwows on the possibility of “abolishing whiteness”. By “whiteness” they mean “the set of behaviors and outlooks associated with the racial category, white.”
See, if you abolish all that, the Stanford sages say, you’ll wind up with “equality.” No whiteness, no inequality.
As a factual aside, it may be pointed out that no government has ever succeeded in making all its people rich. Stable democratic governments, by means of a free market, have come the closest—but those are much too “white.” On the other hand, any dictator worth his salt can make his country poor. Look at Venezuela. They don’t even have toilet paper.
So you really don’t need Jesus Christ, you don’t need no stinkin’ atonement; all you need is a whacking big government and a Far Left public education system that will train a whole generation out of “acting white.” Holding down a job, getting married before you have children, working hard to get ahead—away with all that, it’s acting white and it causes inequality. I guess it does: working hard and effectively will probably always get you farther than just lazing around playing video games. Erase the national borders, erase the two sexes (there really are only two), erase any lingering conviction that truth is truth and facts are facts no matter who presents them, and bob’s your uncle.
That’s where we’re headed, and our colleges and liberal churches are taking us there.