Monday, 7 November 2011



It is a term Christians have lost the meaning to and have allowed society to dictate to sections of the Church what it means.

It seems that a lot of people understand punishment to be something to do with breaking the law.

You break the rules and you are punished.

Some within the church have argued this in regard to God and the death of Jesus.

You broke God's law and so deserve to be punished, but Jesus' death means that he took the punishment etc etc.

If punishment was about us breaking the law, then God would be under our control.  Think about it.  If God had to punish us for breaking the law, then we could control God.  We could purposely break the law in order that God would have to punish us, thereby making us the ones who controlled what God did.

That can't be right...

So Christians need to think again about what punishment is and what that looks like within the life of the church.

To begin with punishment is not something done by God to us because we are 'rule breakers'.

It is not that we are not punished for our sins but that sin IS our punishment.  Punishment therefore is always self-inflicted.

The church therefore needs to help the world see where their punishment stems from and help them move into a new reality.

Beginning thoughts of an ongoing reflection...

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