When they reject the blood atonement ...
Liberal theologian and pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick said the doctrine of the blood atonement was a slaughterhouse religion,1 and he said it was "precivilized barbarity."2
In his 1922 sermon Shall the Fundamentalists Win?, he stated:
It is interesting to note where the Fundamentalists are driving in their stakes to mark out the deadline of doctrine around the church, across which no one is to pass except on terms of agreement. They insist that we must all believe in the historicity of certain special miracles, preeminently the virgin birth of our Lord; that we must believe in a special theory of inspiration—that the original documents of the Scripture, which of course we no longer possess, were inerrantly dictated to men a good deal as a man might dictate to a stenographer; that we must believe in a special theory of the Atonement—that the blood of our Lord, shed in a substitutionary death, placates an alienated Deity and makes possible welcome for the returning sinner; and that we must believe in the second coming of our Lord upon the clouds of heaven to set up a millennium here, as the only way in which God can bring history to a worthy denouement. Such are some of the stakes which are being driven to mark a deadline of doctrine around the church.3
What this line of thinking is saying is that while Jesus' going to the Cross should be looked at as an example of perfect servanthood and sacrifice, the idea that God would send His Son to a violent death on the Cross is barbaric and would never happen. Thus, Fosdick (and those who adhere to this reasoning) rejects Christ as a substitute for our penalty (the wages of sin is death - Romans 6:23).
This God Exist?
In 1991, William Shannon, (author of Silence on Fire - about Merton) said this:
He is the God who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased. This God whose moods alternate between graciousness and fierce anger -- a God who is still all too familiar to many Christians -- is a caricature of the true God. This God does not exist. This is not the God whom Jesus Christ reveals to us. This is not the God whom Jesus called "Abba." (p. 110).
McLaren Calls Hell and the Cross
"False Advertising for God"
a 2006 interview, emerging church leader Brian McLaren calls the
doctrine of hell "false advertising for God" and berates the body
of Christ and the doctrine of the Cross as he has often done before.
This interview shows a clear picture of the spirituality that has swiftly moved into churches across North America and around the world and rejects Jesus Christ's substitutionary sacrifice on the Cross.
*The Interview (loads slowly) (Interview took place 1/8/2006 and 1/12/2006)
*Transcript of Interview
*Brian McLaren, Emerging but into what?
Brennan Manning Copies Words of New Age Priest
In Brennan Manning's 2003 book, Above All (foreword written by Michael W. Smith), Manning says the following:
[T]he god whose moods alternate between graciousness and fierce anger ...the god who exacts the last drop of blood from his Son so that his just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased, is not the God revealed by and in Jesus Christ. And if he is not the God of Jesus, he does not exist. (p. 58-59)
Manning's statement is strikingly similar to contemplative William Shannon, who said in his 1991 book Silence on Fire:
He is the God who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased .This God whose moods alternate between graciousness and fierce anger ... This God does not exist. (p. 110, Silence on Fire)
and Shannon are not the only ones who write about God's judgment
and Hell in such a manner. It is becoming increasingly popular
and accepted by many Christian leaders to take this alternative
view. Read the following remarks:
sacrifice was to appease an angry God. Penal substitution was
the name of this vile doctrine."—Alan
Jones, Reimagining Christianity (p. 168) - Jones
is a member of the interspiritual Living
Spiritual Teachers Project
heard me say many times that the greatest thing you can do with
your life is tell somebody about Jesus ... if you help somebody
secure their eternal destiny, that they spend the rest of their
life in Heaven not Hell ...your life counts, your life matters
because nothing matters more than helping get a person and their
eternal destiny settled. They will be forever eternally grateful....And
I've always said that that was the greatest thing you can do
with your life. I was wrong. There is one thing you can do greater
than share Jesus Christ with somebody, and it is help start
a church."—Sermon from 11/2003 when Rick Warren Announced
His Global Peace Plan to Saddleback.
hell is smaller than one pebble ... smaller than one atom."—Nicky
Gumbel, creator of the Alpha Course
Paul is clearly saying is that if anyone is worthy of being
saved, they will be saved. At that point many Christians get
very anxious, saying that absolutely no one is worthy of being
saved. The implication of that is that a person can be almost
totally good, but miss the message about Jesus, and be sent
to hell. What kind of a God would do that? I am not going to
stand in the way of anyone whom God wants to save. I am not
going to say 'he can't save them.' I am happy for God to save
anyone he wants in any way he can. It is possible for someone
who does not know Jesus to be saved."— Dallas
church has been preoccupied with the question, 'What happens
to your soul after you die?' As if the reason for Jesus coming
can be summed up in, 'Jesus is trying to help get more souls
into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die.' I just think
a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I
don't think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be
boiled down to that bottom line." - Brian McLaren, emerging
church leader, from PBS
ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the
way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13,14)
"[H]e who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.... Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved..." - Jesus (John 10)
1. Horton, Church History and Things to Come, (Pensacola: A Beka Books), p. 156
2. Harry Emerson Fosdick, Dear Mr. Brown, (Harper & Row, 1961), p. 136.
3. Harry Fosdick, "Shall the Fundamentalists Win? http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5070/