But if God simply forgives people without a price then how are the religion brokers going to use it to get what they want?
Forgiveness fits into this with Jesus saying, “your sins are forgiven so go and sin no more.” The point is to give you the opportunity to change. If you don’t change then forgiveness doesn’t serve any good purpose.
Someone going around promising criminals that they can get away with it if they just belong to a secret organization which will get them out of paying the consequences. That sounds like something the devil would do – organized crime.
The whole point is NOT that our actions have no consequences. NO! Romans 2, God “will render to every man according to his works.” But there is fork in the road here. As with any disease we can allow it to consume us or we can go under the surgeon’s knife.
Well the proper place of mercy in the administration of justice concerns itself with what it takes to get people to change. That is the principle place for mercy in the first place… recognizing that making mistakes is part of the process by which we learn. But if we are not learning and changing then mercy isn’t working and it is time to get on with the justice part of it.
So is Christ a patsy?
It is a question of attitude. Do we look at the cross with a sigh of relief or with feelings of horror, regret, and repentance. Those with a sigh of relief are making Christ into patsy and I don’t think one iota of redemption comes to them at all.
Christianity dies when people stop thinking things through carefully and simply recite the same dogma over and over. It becomes something evil like the religion of the Pharisees when dogma becomes a justification for entitlement.
P.S. Anyone notice how compatible Christianity has been with organized crime in the mafia?