Day 43- Romans 4-6
So, I have been in communication with a guy named Bart Campolo. I think it has been over four years ago that he renounced his faith in God. He is now a secular humanist (after being a professional Christian speaker for over 20 years).
I listened to a video he did around 2010 when he was still claiming to be a Christian. His theology was way off then, so his derailment doesn’t come as a surprise. 😔
I am giving you the link so that you can see how some Christians can get REALLY confused with the teachings of Christ if they aren’t doing their own personal reading.
I am giving it to you now because our reading today is the clearest rebuttal to Bart, even though the theme of atonement is weaved through the entire Bible.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6bH0jkoNYQ (Skip the ad, the video is only 2 minutes long.)
I was so disturbed when I saw this! I was wondering how I would have responded in person if I was having a conversation with Bart. To be honest, I don’t think I would have come up with an articulate answer right away. But, now that I have Romans 3-6 fresh in my mind, I think I would do OK! 😏
I reviewed the reading we did yesterday before I started today’s, just to get my mind back on the subject Paul was talking about. I am glad I did because 3:25 really stood out to me and it would be the ONE scripture I would use to respond to Bart.
“God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice…”
Yes, Jesus does speak to us about forgiving our neighbor 77 times (Matt. 18:22). That is OUR job. But he also tells us, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” in Romans 12:19. That is HIS job. And, we are thankful for that because we all have it in our heart that things should be fair!!!! We take heart in knowing “God is just” (2 Thess 1:6). It wouldn’t be fair if God “just forgave us” as Bart says. It wouldn’t be fair if there was a line of criminals that were released with the simple words, “I forgive you” and no one pays! Where is the justice in that?
So, with all that in mind, our reading today explains that, “ to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited to him as righteousness. (4:5) and because we have been justified, “we have peace with God” (5:2) I talked about that on Day 35. We don’t need to worry about the punishment that would be ours because out of love, Christ took it for us. Poor Bart, he missed the whole point of Christ! And ironically, that short video clip is titled, “What’s the point of Christ?”