The Ransome Issue

by Amazing 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • Amazing

    From a very young age I have been curious about the Ransom Jesus provided. I always wondered why God found it necessary to have his son killed for our sins or our inherited sin, when he simply could have just waved his hand and forgiven us. My Catholic faith helped me some to understand the 'financial' exchange aspect of the Ransom, but it was never truly satisfying to my sensibilities.

    Upon becoming a JW, I felt that they had better ideas and definitions. The 'legalistic' aspect they promulgated greatly helped me see how God would need to follow his own standards, and require the death penalty for sin. And since we are all sinners, thus deserving of death, we need the Ransom. But, even this still does not make sense. When we die the Bible says we are acquitted of our sin because of death ... which we all pay ... so, if we have paid for our own sin, then why not apply mercy and simply resurrect us after the fact? Why involve Jesus?

    After I left the JWs, I continued my general acceptance of all this, but expanded my faith to include a number of things that add value to the Ransom, and why it is needed. But, I am still troubled by the whole thing.

    Essentially, we are forced into sin because we are products of sinners all the way back to Adam and Eve. We did not choose in any way to sin, or become sinners. We are that way because of two things:

    1) God's design to 'booby-trap' Adam and Eve so that they pass along sin and death because of their sin. A design that could have easily changed, as he did in the case of Jesus who was born of Mary (a sinner). Jesus was born sinless and remained so. Why could God not have done as much for us?

    2) God's standards of death as payment for sin. A standard that he has the authority to set or not to set, to change or not to change, to apply rigidly, or not to apply, but waive. Who can argue with God if he decides to let his standard ride or not enforce it or simply change the law?

    I had absolutely nothing to do with the sin inherited from Adam and Eve. I had no choice, no ability to be involved, because I was not alive to do anything one way or the other. Therefore, I submit, that if I am forced into sin by circumstances beyond my control, then the responsibility is not mine, but the one who has the power and authority to deal with it, namely God.

    I am trying to sort out all this, because it seems that the Ransom, if it is truly God's rigid "legal" of "financial" standard that he refuses to deviate from, then it cannot be an act of generosity or "undeserved kindness," but rather, a moral responsibility on his part to deal with his design and all the poor, ignorant, sinful and imperfect people who are born not having a clue as to any universal issue; nor having any power or authority to do anything one way
    or the other about it.

    I am still not satisfied with this core Christian teaching, not because I lack faith in Jesus, but because I simply cannot understand the issue or the accountability held over our heads for sins we cannot help but commit; sins that we inherited from ancient people that we have no control over.

    Here is another way to state the problem: My child disobeys my directions, and gets arrested for drunk driving. While held in prison, he gets married and has many children who are also held in prison. I built the prison, own the town, set the laws, and pay
    the prison guards. Nonetheless, I wait until drunk child dies in 40 years, and then send my oldest son to die to pay the bail bonds and dismiss the case ... with one stipulation ... my grandchildren in jail must now place "faith" in and be adopted by my oldest son (their uncle) who died for them. Failure to do so will result in continued imprisonment and eventual death.

    However, even after my grandchildren put faith in my oldest son, I allow other evil criminals (similar to the devil concept) to also go into the prison and teach confusion and rape and torture my grandchildren, their children, and their children's children for decades of years. Also, they continue in prison even after putting
    faith in my oldest son and they die there ... but are told that someday they will get brought back to life to live the good life with me on the farm.

    Would I seem psychotic to you if I did that to my children and grandchildren? Then, why is this somehow an act of love and mercy for God, who makes all the rules, has all the power, to take essentially the same approach, not just to a few children ... but billions of people over thousands of years? Is there anything wrong with the picture? Does anyone have any good
    explanations? - Simply Amazing

  • Fredhall

    Do you know why we need a Christ sacrifice? Read Romans 5:12.

  • Moxy

    rotfl@fred again

  • outnfree

    Afraid I don't have any explanation, SA, just the same questions.


  • Osarsif

    Adam and Eve never existed. Ransom doctrine is religious nonsense.

  • Undecided

    Hi Amazing,

    I'm having the same problem accepting this hypothesis for man's circumstance. This is true especially the way some churches explain that Christ was God, and he gave himself to himself so he could forgive man of something that he in fact caused by making all men since Adam to be sinful from inheritance.

    My wife and sister-in-law are trying to comvert me. When we sit down to eat they insist I give thanks. I said alright, if we give God credit for us having food, then we must also blame him for the ones who don't have food. Should they say damn you God for not supplying me with food? They don't have an answer.

    There are too many questions about God for me to really accept the normal view of him. What he is, or does in relation to the earth or man can't be explained by logical reasoning. If the God of the bible could just be here, not having responsibility for his existance, then why couldn't other entities also just be here with no beginning? There are too many questions but few real answers, maybe we could not understand the truth if it was explained because of our limited understanding of the real universe and other dimensions(Like the supposed spirit world???) I've heard of ministers going insane trying to understand it all. I'm about to put it all out of my mind and just enjoy whatever comes my way.


    Ken P.

  • SixofNine
    I've heard of ministers going insane trying to understand it all.

    LoL, maybe. But I think a lot more; get rich by trying to explain it all. Or acting as if they can explain it all.

    Thanks for organizing those thoughts amazing. Very good questions.

  • abbagail

    Amazing, you THINK toooo much.

    Me thinks you need a hobbie or something...

    You must go to bed exhausted every night!

  • Englishman
    And since we are all sinners, thus deserving of death,

    Never could understand that one. The problem is, that when you question the reasoning behind the ransome issue, believers quickly go bananas and start name-calling. "Blasphemer" is the commonest.


  • joenobody


    I appreciate your questions on this matter. This is the kind of thing I have not been able to make sense of either. I could not understand why God requires that parents be responsible for their progeny and what they do, and yet he takes no such resposibility himself for the actions of his own creations (ie. Adam/Eve/Satan all exercised "free-will" and rebelled).

    Also, I never could come to terms with the fact that once a person died and was brought back to life, that they would need a ransom - "wages sin pays is death" - ie. you've paid the price once you died. Why too would a benevolent God be so tied up in legalastic red-tape to serve his sense of justice? I sincerely cannot imagine that a chess game of epic proportions between God and Satan's minions using mankind as pawns to prove some point is loving. When I read things like this in the Bible, it actually leads me to believe that if there is a God, then he is relatively perfect (ie. perfect in relation to humans) but not perfect overall. The 100% black and white, good-vs.-evil doesn't make much sense. Then again, that might be my feeble human brain unable to comprehend such weighty matters.

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