One of the most important doctrines of Christendom is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement or penal substitution.
It basically states that Christ took upon Himself the griefs, sorrows, transgressions, iniquity and sins of believers while dying of the cross, thereby satisfying the wrath of the Father. This teaching is beautifully states in Isaiah 53 where the prophet tells us that “it was the will of the LORD to crush Him.” Isaiah 53:10a ESV
It is highly disappointing that churches today reject part of this doctrine.
Today, my friend Romeo Fulga pointed out that the Presbyterian Church USA has publicly rejected one of the most popular hymns sang in our churches today, “In Christ Alone.” To get an idea of how popular this song is, I typed “in ch” in my google search bar and the first item that popped up was “in Christ alone lyrics.” This liberal denomination who also happens to ordain gay ministers is rejecting the song because of the following stanza which references the wrath of God in the context of substitutionary atonement:
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
Other Christian artists also have a problem with this line. Some have recorded the song, but either left out the “wrath of God” stanza or changed it to “the love of God was magnified.”
Christianity today in some circles has become a lukewarm, love-only type of Christianity which avoids preaching such concepts as the wrath of God, the existence of hell, death as the penalty against sin, and many other unpalatable to the flesh doctrines found on the pages of the Bible.
It is time for the church to wake up and realize that an incomplete Gospel is a false Gospel. We cannot have the love of God without the wrath of God. We cannot have God’s love and mercy without His justice. We cannot separate His attributes, nor pick and choose which ones we want to accept or reject.
It is time to accept the Bible as inerrant, and accept the teachings found there in their entirety.