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Dec 05, 2009

Who Killed Christ?

Answering The Critics Part 1

I am really touched by the number of people who have been inspired by The Misunderstood God.  It amazes me how many people write me and say, “Thank you for putting into words what has always been on my heart.” It is being confirmed over and over in me that thebookrevelation of The Misunderstood God is something that is already alive in the hearts of people everywhere.  

There are several areas in the book that I knew would be a theological challenge for people who have been steeped in religion. I expected criticism in these areas and my critics haven’t let me down.  

On page 97 and 98 under the heading “Love is Not Self Seeking” I talk about why Christ died. I basically make the statement that a “sin offering” is not made to God, but to sin. I go on to describe sin as a beast who wants to devour you. Imagine camping with your family and you come across a grizzly bear out in the wild. First off, let me tell you that if this happens; you had better come baring gifts! You had better bearhave an offering for that bear, or it’s you he will devour. Christ basically threw himself in front of the beast of sin and allowed it to devour him instead of us. He saves us from sin.  

Modern day Christianity has twisted the story around to mean something entirely different. Today we’re told that God was so enraged over our singifts that He had to kill someone. That someone was gonna be us because we deserved it. We had it coming. Because God also loved us, He sent His only Son so God could kill Him in our place. Jesus supposedly “paid the price” to God for our sins. 

With a theology like that it’s no wonder people cower away from intimacy with God. We’re told that He wants to be our loving Father, but that rings pretty hollow when you look at what He did to his first Son. I’m not sure I want a Father who killed His one and only Son so that He could forgive us. Couldn't He have just forgiven us on His own without having to kill someone? SURE He could. Jesus proved that He had the power and authority to forgive sins while on earth so surely God could do the same. 

The critics have an issue with me giving sin an identity in the illustration of the beast. Speaking about sin as though it’s a living beast that could require an offering to appease it and keep it from killing us doesn’t seem to be biblical. They’ve said that sin is, “Missing the mark,” and nothing more. You can’t bring an offering to that. 

In Genesis 4:7 God told Cain, “...... sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” 

In John 8:34 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” 

In Romans 6:14 Paul says “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."  

In Romans 7:8-11 Paul says: “....For apart from law, sin is dead........... but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died............For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.”  

Paul takes it a step further in Romans 7:14 and says that we’re actually, “Sold as a slave to sin.” 

Each of these passages clearly gives sin an identity that far exceeds our simple definition of merely missing the mark. When you look at James 1:14-15 it gets even more descriptive. 

“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” 

The next point that the critics make is that I say that a “sin offering” is not made to God, but to sin.  

Usually they’ll use a bible program and pull up a thousand verses in Leviticus where all the sacrifice procedures are given for the temple. They’ll see the words, “bring it unto the sinLord” or something like that, and immediately take that to mean that the offering was to God so that He would overlook their sins and refrain from killing them one more day.  

If you really think about that theology, it doesn’t follow through very nicely. What we’re saying is that God set up a system where people could pay Him off when they sinned. It’s like God was selling indulgences long before the Catholic church ever came up with it. This is silly on several levels. First off, it implies that there is a price in God’s mind that would make sin worth it for Him. If that price was paid to God, He would be satisfied and the sin wouldn’t matter anymore. Could you imagine there being ANY price where sin would be okay from a fathers standpoint??

Know this; to God there is nothing in this world that would ever make sin worth it. Sin takes from people. It depletes them and leaves them hollow and empty. It strips people of their identity and basically devours their bodies. God would NEVER put a price on that because there is no price that would make it okay for Him. It would be like me agreeing tome allow a man to molest one of my children for the right price. There is NO price that I would accept for that.  

Yes, it appears that the people in the Old Testament brought their “sin offerings” to God, but it wasn’t an offering that was “for” God. The sin offering was “for” sin. In other words, God didn’t accept the offering and overlook sin because the price was right. He took the “sin offering” and gave it to sin. 

It's interesting to note the amount of times in the Old Testament where it says to take the sin offering outside the camp and burn it. It’s almost as though God were saying, “I don’t even want it mixed in with my stuff, take it away and burn it.”

The real answer as to whether a sin offering is for God or for sin, is answered when the truth is revealed in the New Testament. When we read that “when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death” we begin to see that it was sin itself that kills and therefore the slaying of the animal in the Old Testament was to the one who required your life; sin. If scripture said, “when sin is full grown, God will give the sinner the death penalty,” we would know for sure that the Old Testament “sin offering” was meant to appease God. It wasn’t that way though.  

The issue wasn’t how to put God’s inevitable wrath on the sinner off another day. It was, how to keep sins inevitable devouring nature satisfied until the time of Christ in order to save the life of the person. This is almost the complete opposite of what most of us have been taught.  

So who was it that killed Christ? Was it God or was it sin? 

After reading that several people had labeled me a heretic for believing the way I do, I said to my wife, “Where were these people when The Chronicles of Narnia movie came narniaout?” Surprisingly, I didn’t hear any Christians picketing or bashing, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe movie, and it literally depicted exactly what I stated in my book. If you saw the movie, you’ll recall that Edmund had screwed up with the witch and she reminded Aslan about her right to have the boy’s life because of his offense. Aslan met with the witch and agreed to take Edmund's place.  

Who was it that killed Aslan? Was it God? NO! Aslan went to the dark side and the witch and all her evil creatures tortured and killed him. That was a perfect picture of what I’m stating in my book. The bible says, “The wages of sin is death,” not “The wages of God is death if you sin.” The wages are paid to SIN; not to God. 

The rest of Scripture points this way as well. If we look at the James 1:14-15 verses it clearly shows the progression of it. 

“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then , after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”   

It is SIN that gives birth to death. It was SIN that killed Christ; NOT GOD.  

Romans 6:10 puts it so simply and beautifully: 

“The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” 

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  1. Gravatar
    David Backus

    In talking with atheists throughout my journey, they tell me that this view of God demanding a sacrifice is one of the reasons that they stay away from Christianity.I wonder how such atheists would react to this wonderful truth.

  2. Gravatar

    Darin, do you think, spiritually metaphorically kinda speaking, that this correlates to the Beast in the Revelation?

    Love Ya!

  3. Gravatar

    Could it be that man was already offering sacrifices to try an redeem himself based on his own misunderstanding regarding his standing with God. Man had built a whole system of laws for relating to God under the assumption that he had was separated from God. The mosaic law, including the sacrifices, was God teaching man that these systems don't work. The sin offering was a merciful act on God's part since if freed the consciousness of the one making the offering. Jesus offered himself for the transgressions committed under the first covenant. He was/is the perfect sacrifice that cleanses man's consciousness of sin, once and for all. In the new covenant there are no rules for relating to God. Therefore, there is no way we can misunderstand were we stand(aka sin) based on performance.

  4. Gravatar

    God's grace has always been present. We are told, were sin abounded, grace abounded much more. The cross was God demonstrating to mankind His true self. Jesus demonstrated the grace of the Father, the mercy of the Father, love of the Father, and the justice of the Father. Under the old covenant, if you sinned you died. When Jesus died, We were all in his body and died with Him. When we died, we died to our first husband (old covenant). When He was raised from the dead so were we. We were then married to our second husband Christ. If I build up that which I have destroyed, I make myself a sinner. Christ is not the minister of sin.

    My 2bits :)

  5. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Marie, I think it could. I'm not sure.

  6. Gravatar

    it's good to hear that there are people questioning the church dogmas and narratives, but i don't think you have hit the nail on its head yet.

    if you take a bird's eye view of the entire bible, you will see who is the cause of oppression of the people jesus came to deliver.

    it is not an "invisible entities" you are struggling against. in fact, "invisible entities" and mythological creatures were used to depict political oppression.

    during the time of christ, roman emperor Augustus declared himself divine or god.

    so the battle against SIN is against this MASTER hence the term SLAVE to SIN was derived(the master was human).

    the message of christ is a subtle message hitting out at the roots of oppression of the poor he came to deliver.

    so you need to put the serpent on the cross.get it?

  7. Gravatar
    David Backus

    Darin, I partially wish you didn't post the scriptures to support your claim, yet I see why you did it. I guess secretly there is a certain spite in me towards people who demand Bible support for everything. I wish we could all just listen to our hearts and just hear our Father. On the other hand, I see an enduring patience in you as you posted this blog. I guess I reside in Christ's words "He who has an ear..." and I guess those who don't have an ear never WILL hear, even if you DO post the scriptures to support it. I almost feel as if you are bowing to the demands of your critics. Personally I wouldn't give them the time of day. I guess you have more patience than I do. Then again, Christ Himself DID refer to the scriptures concerning HIS critics. Oh well, great blog as always.

  8. Gravatar
    Jacob Botha

    Interesting view. I can buy this Darin. It makes more practical sense. I'm open to a theos challenge any day. Better than being a Baaa(sheep) which could get me sacrificed. Gods purpose with Christs sacrifice was to reconcile us to Him, so what you say makes sense. Sin comes to kill, steal and destroy. God came so that we can have life. All said and done if it wasn't for sin, Christ would not have been crucified!

  9. Gravatar

    Good point made here! An excellent article as usual!

  10. Gravatar

    Darin, I appreciate your using the support of Scripture here. I think you're doing it to help us deal with the critics, rather than to try and convince the critics themselves. You know how many who come to FBN have been beaten up by religion and are trying to give US ammunition to stand up and fight back (against powers and principalities that are using the critics to do their dirty work). Thanks!!

  11. Gravatar

    What you are saying is sound and makes sense. I have always understood it this way, that is, I never thought of God killing Christ. I can see from the way scripture is read where we might get that idea, but it is not logical. I also like your use of scripture. I think being free doesn't mean we should discard scripture, I think what I am really hearing is that misunderstanding scripture is really where we often are. Maybe that should be your next book. If we can begin to know that God's love for us is higher than anything we have known in our earthly relationships, then the Bible can be read from an honest desire to understand it. There is no reason why we can't ask Him to help us understand it.

  12. Gravatar

    Thanks Darin, clears up some of my jumbled thoughts..............easier to accept the love of God if you're not worried about being whacked if you do wrong!! Easier to accept unconditional love when you know sin has been paid off and I'm not held in bondage to it ever again....blessings & shalom

  13. Gravatar
    Ed Halferty

    As I started to read your post I immediately thought of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Aslan's sacrifice for Edmund. Having read the book, I have long felt the power in C.S. Lewis' illustration of Aslan's sacrifice. I was surprised that you went on to discuss this very thing in the article. That really nails it!
    The bible also says that He (Jesus) "became" sin. He became the very offering the sin monster devours in our place. Great article.

  14. Gravatar

    Good one, brother ;). It's such a shame that so many Old Testament authors used the term "Wrath of God". Maybe it should have been "Wrath of Sin". It's always the sin that destroys, not God, otherwise He wouldn't be Love. And Bible says He's always been the same. I think the term "Wrath of God" was maybe invented by the people themselves. They wanted such a God. They wanted an angry God that crushes and destroys, because Love wouldn't be powerful enough comparing to pagan gods. And God said OK, you need me to look like that, so be it. But the fullness of God was revealed in Jesus Christ. And the only words He personally said (not through prophets, kings, Moses, David...) were Love is more than anything. Forgive 77 times. Love your enemies. Many who don't even know my name are my followers.

  15. Gravatar

    jesus sacrifice was not vicarious. truth is, that is against the most basic and common principle of law which god cannot violate if he will to remain true to his essence.

    anyone who subscribes to that needs to seriously review his/her mental state.

    as such,the faith founded on fallacy cannot stand but eventually has to collapse.

  16. Gravatar

    Excellent, Darin, I've taught the same thing, that sin is what God is angry at, because sin is what destroys us, the object of his love. We assume that God gets angry at us and therefore live in fear of him and the threat of his anger. Thanks for the scriptures - those very points have arisen from critics this side of the pond.

  17. Gravatar
    Carey Clark

    Sin has its' own consequences, death. God is love. He loves us supremely. For years I have defined love as a desire for holiness in the one loved. God says, "Be holy, as I am holy." Holiness is not something mysterious. It is choosing the good. Only holiness brings true happiness. Sin brings fear and bondage. Holiness brings joy and freedom. According to Hebrews, when we willfully sin we trample under foot the son of God and insult the spirit of grace. God desires us to be free because he loves us. When mankind, consumed by sin, crucified his son, it deeply pained the Father. He could have justly destroyed those who did such a terrible thing, but he was merciful. Jesus loved us too, and cried out, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" as he hung on the cross.

  18. Gravatar
    Emily Lynn

    the Bible is a book of translations - and depending on what context you choose to view it in can shade many opinions and versions of any single passage or story.

    In the end, regardless of what you believe to the "exact" truth of the past, you only need to know 3 things

    God loves you for you - God forgives you for your mistake - God wants you in heaven with him when your time on earth is over!

    All anyone needs to do is be the best they can be!

  19. Gravatar

    cool post

  20. Gravatar
    John Coroy

    Darren, this article is a true treasure! I have known for some time that sin was more than simply the result of disobedience because I also have considered many, but not all, of the same scriptures you mentioned. But I was never able to reconcile my IC theological influence with what I saw in the scriptures until you brought out the “rest of the story”, especially those in Romans which I had never considered before in that context. WOW!!! The light went on! I thank the Lord that He has enabled you to articulate it in such a wonderful way. Thank you for your honesty and courage and my prayer is that the Lord will continue to strengthen you.

  21. Gravatar

    I see this explanation as still putting the responsibility for Jesus’ death somewhere other than on human beings. What makes sense to me is that the sin of idolatry led to people torturing Jesus. He suffered for the sin of human beings having a distorted image of God. He paid the price for that sin and then resurrected as forgiveness. In so doing he gave a full revelation of God to human beings. God takes no vengeance and has nothing to do with death. When we know we are created in that image of God we don’t need to participate in violence on any level as a means of protecting against shame, pain, suffering and death perpetrated by those who would do us harm. As we are able, we are free to bring aid and comfort to anyone who needs it.

  22. Gravatar
    Jeanne Schlumbohm

    So good Darin. Makes you wonder why people are more comfortable having an angry God than a loving God.
    If anyone would like to read a great(but lengthy)article on understanding the cross from a grace perspective rather than legalism, it's by a guy named Derek Flood, he writes a blog called Rebel God. Here's the link:


  23. Gravatar

    I am going to post this on this blog because I know you respond to it so here goes. I just have finished reading an article from a site that you recommend on your links section about modern worship leaders. I am one. My husband and I lead worship in a church with attendance of around one hundred fifty people. We do this because I see some connection between God and the people most of the time. Yes, I am conflicted because it has been a painful journey for me but I love them and that is my chosen sacrifice for them. I do not ever want to be there substitute for a full relationship with God. I read the article on this site and was just floored. I don't think I have ever read something so hateful and judgemental. What is going on?

  24. Gravatar

    I have now pain and suffering again in my heart from things I have read to try to comes to grip with some of my pain from dealing with the body of Christ? Do you agree that organized prayer or worship experiences are evil and will cast one into the fire for participating and that only spontaneous worship has any validity without dire consequences? Wow. Do you believe this or screen these sites you recommend at all? All I know is now I am very sad and paranoid that I am doing something evil. It breaks my already broken heart in pieces, again. I hope this is not your heart but I must know.

  25. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Rosemary what are you talking about? What article, what site? I have no idea what you're referring to. Who has told you that organized prayer or worship is evil and you'll go to hell for it? How could you believe something so ridicules and off? Understand that just because I recommend a website, does not mean that I believe or endorse every single thing they post or say.

  26. Gravatar
    Here is that website and the article is Spirit & Truth. You will see the article scrolling down the page read if you dare because I can know this is hateful and judgemental and downright mean but it hurts my heart. I think that is what happens in the IC so much but apparently also by some of those who also confess "freedom". I know you did not write the article but I did want to know if you agreed with it before I listened to one more of your podcasts. Sorry, just trying to guard my heart. I would never read anything on the aforementioned website again and thought you should know. It worries me that the owner would post something like that. This is a new exploration for me of things that have troubled me for so long.

  27. Gravatar

    Hi Rosemary,

    I read the article and thought it was ... well pretty ordinary. It was just one man's opinion I'm sure it was not directed specifically at you or your husband. There are heaps of divergent opinions on the Internet, some uplifting, some controlling and others destructive. The trick is to know your own heart and it doesn't matter what anyone else says it will just wash off like fried egg from a Teflon pan (sorry about my lack of imagination but I couldn't think of anything else). Maybe Darin could put a disclaimer on the link page as I don't think he would imply that everything is legit. Also, to constantly audit every new article on every linked website would be impossible. I'm running out of room so I'll finish here and start another comment ...

  28. Gravatar

    ... the area of worship is a hot button for many people and in fact friends of mine were once worship leaders and they were totally burned out by the experience and no longer are involved in that role. They great people and not bitter but for them it was damaging to their faith and children.

    Now, I don't know you at all so please disregard looking at the following links if you think they will cause you further distress. I am only including them as they demonstrate the divergent opinions held by folks who are involved in worship bands or leading worship themselves:

    By the way this is an okay site with good resources.


  29. Gravatar

    Well Darin and Ian, I was just making the issue I guess that on the link it said this is where you would send you friends. I just hope they are not worship leaders! ;-) That said, I am so mad at Darin that I bought his book yesterday, so far I love it. When I was a child my favorite story from school was "The Emperer's New Clothes". Now I know why God has always kept that in my mind. I believe we have been in the dark ages for centuries and my obsession with the early church has annoyed people for years I am sure but I am just childlike enough to always be crying "The Emperor Has No Clothes On" to the crowd. Been thrown out of three churche and who knows may get kicked out of the one I go to now. I am not really a vocal person but they always tend to find out I am not ......

  30. Gravatar

    swallowing the kool aid. I grew up in an abusive atheist home so that makes me a little weird in the groups. Thanks for writing the book and I will pass it on to my peril I am sure.

  31. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I read the article and agreed with most of it, but his last statement threw me for a loop. It came out of no where. I certainly don't agree with what he said there. He is opinion on worship, I do pretty much agree with. His opinion on worship leaders being false children of God, I bull crap in my opinion.

  32. Gravatar

    Isaiah 53:10...."But the Lord was pleased to crush Him......." Sure sounds like the Father crushed His Son under His holy wrath for our sins.

  33. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    The Lord was no doubt pleased with what His Son did for us. The verse you quoted goes on to say, "and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand." Yes, God was pleased to see this but it wasn't God who did it. Even in Genesis when God prophesies about the coming Messiah, He says to the serpent "you will bruise his heel and he will crush your head." The bruising came from sin, NOT from God. It did please God however.

  34. Gravatar

    Almost done with the Misunderstood God and I am really enjoying it. I'd like to believe what I'm reading here, but what do you make of Romans 3:25-26?

    He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

  35. Gravatar
    Jeff Pate

    "Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." [John 10:17-18]

    No one or thing killed Jesus... He laid down His own life FOR sin (because of sin) and FOR us (on our behalf as our substitute) (Romans 8:3)

    Here's an article I wrote...

  36. Gravatar

    Jeff, thanks for the link. I read it. But I still do not understand how the teaching Darrin presents here fits with Romans 3:25-26. My main question regards punishment. Does God need to punish sin? Darrin says no, but this verse seems to say yes. I like what Darrin saying about sin as a beast and Jesus throwing Himself in front of the beast to keep us from being devoured...But I don't understand how this verse fits in with that theology.

  37. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Hey Mica, sorry for taking so long to respond. I've been traveling. 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." --- Basically what I'm saying is that Christ stepped forward and in one single act of LOVE, he bypassed punishment. God left the previous sins unpunished, but it wasn't because He was planning on punishing Jesus in the future for those sins. It was because He knew of the act of love Christ was about to perform and that act is what saved us. It was no longer about punishment when love entered the picture. The sacrifice was not punishment. It was love. His blood brought atonement and erased guilt. I'm not sure if that helps or not. Let me know if it does.

  38. Gravatar

    Darin, I love this picture of the cross. I was taught in Bible school that God's holy wrath against sin was satisfied in the Body of Jesus and that why we have peace with God and He is no longer angry with us when we sin. The problem is that it leaves you with a schizophrenic God who needed to kill someone to be ok with us! I was wondering how the term propitiation fits in with all this? That's the word they always used in school to defend God punishing Jesus for my sin. I think you should seriously consider writing a book(even collaborating with maybe Wayne Jacobsen, Paul young, Brad cummings?) on what the cross was really all about and what that means for us in this moment. It would be helpful to myself and countless others I know. I appreciate you.

  39. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Mica, I might be able to explain this a little better. YES sin requires a punishment. Your verse says "in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished." What Christ did by throwing Himself in front of the beast is He took sin away. He beat punishment to the punch. Christ destroyed the beast and took sin away in one act of love. He cancelled the written code that was against us and nailed it to the cross. Once it was taken away, there was no more need for punishment because it was as if it had never happened. Jesus "turned aside God's wrath" because he TOOK AWAY SIN, not because He PAID FOR SIN.-------Does that help clarify???

  40. Gravatar

    I have been taught that we have been redeemed, bought back as in the picture of redemption in the story of Ruth or as slaves to sin and our freedom purchased. If we were slaves to sin, the price had to be paid TO SIN to get us free. But then I was also taught that the cross satisfied God's justice, because He is perfectly just. I'm not sure where the concept of perfect justice came from or even what it really is to be quite honest. I have heard the example of a judge condemning a criminal to death and a person stepping up and saying they will take the sentence instead of the guilty party and the criminal going free and pardonned. But by most systems of justice that would not be justice would it? I can hardly imagine the families of the victims of the criminal being satisfied.

  41. Gravatar

    The above scenario would not be justice, would it? It would be something else.

  42. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    You are correct Jenny. That would not be justice. What actually happened is that the person was about to be pronounced guilty and jesus swooped in and took the sin away completely, and made it as though it never happened in the first place. He turned back time like Super Man did when Lois Lane died so he could bring her back to life. When he took the actual crime away, it no longer needed to be punished because it never happened.

  43. Gravatar

    Hi Darin, just following your conversation with Mica. You rbook has opened my eyes in so man ways, by the way, thank you! By your post, it sounded as though punishment wasn't even an issue though... punishment brings it back to GOd's side of things, in my opinion. If sin is the beast that needs the sacrifice to be satisfied, where does that punishment verse from God's view actually fit in? I've been blown away by your insights so far, I'm really just looking for clarity because it feels right in my heart.. but I'm one of those sticklers where if there's a little hitch it throws my game off! Cheers.

  44. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Hannah read the few comments made by me to Jenny right above your comment:-) I explain it there. Also I am working on a followup article that explains that fully. Blessings.

  45. Gravatar

    In this universe it can be taken as an axiom that God has never done anything for himself. It's always been about rescuing souls created out of ignorant flesh, as many as possible. The gospel built (and builds) upon primitive concepts of justice, for our sake, to aid understanding and increase faith. Today God works to increase faith, individually and globally. The terrible execution of Jesus serves these purposes, perfectly. The cross is for us, to communicate and motivate. Jesus is a higher calling, not to do work (though affected people do work), but to believe, listen, and follow, as best we can, nowhere near perfection. This Christ enables a nearness with God through his Spirit who remains. He is the fulfillment of justice, so that the faithful live WITHOUT fear.

  46. Gravatar

    Wow thanks Darin and my brothers and sisters. To Darin, for all you have been doing with this site and your wonderful book. To the rest for the enriching discussion here and in other posts. We should resume it in a book or something like that. What a blessing.

  47. Gravatar

    "You are correct Jenny. That would not be justice. What actually happened is that the person was about to be pronounced guilty and jesus swooped in and took the sin away completely, and made it as though it never happened in the first place. He turned back time like Super Man did when Lois Lane died so he could bring her back to life. When he took the actual crime away, it no longer needed to be punished because it never happened."

    You have a pretty wild imagination. If the person is guilty, he is guilty and has to account for the wrong done. There is no way to turn back the clock to undo the wrong done otherwise, there is no concept of time.
    Furthermore, this "superman" theory is not supported by the bible.

  48. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Hebrews 9:28 -Christ was sacrificed once to TAKE AWAY THE SINS of many people...." I'm saying he TOOK AWAY our sins. I'm using a METAPHOR. I love metaphors because head thinkers can't figure out what's being said. It's kind of like a code language that goes over the heads of Pharisees. A grown man can't crawl back into his mothers womb and be reborn either can he Dude?

  49. Gravatar

    You reckon sin to be a beast. To stop sin, jesus intercepted the beast and by doing so, removed or took away our sin.
    This metaphor doesn't work well because, according to the bible, the beast or sin has already attacked and you have been bitten and infected with sin's venom.
    Now you probably going to tell me Jesus removed the venom. If so, why are there still the full effects of sinfulness or poison of sin in our nature?
    Point is, if jesus had removed the beast or sin, why is the "beast's nature" still in us which causes us to behave like ...adam?

  50. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Dude, Im not going to reply to any of your comments because you are obviously a cocky, arrogant kid who thinks he knows it all but actually knows very little. Take your self righteous tone somewhere else please. I have learned long ago that explaining God to a head thinker like yourself is like explaining a rainbow to a dog. It's a waste of time. You'll never get it because you love YOURSELF. Thats what separates you from knowing truth. I will delete any future comments that come from you, just so you know.

  51. Gravatar

    I guess I always thought ultimately WE killed Christ because WE sinned. Like I suppose I thought Edmond killed Aslan because he stuffed up. But I know in my heart that is not really it either is it? If I suffered some horrible injury saving my child from a child molester, I would not want my child to think she injured me, would I? Thinking as I write here. I am really looking forward to Part 2.

  52. Gravatar

    That's not quite it either (the child molester comparison) because we did sin (the child had no action in bringing along the child molester). Then again, even if my child invited the child molester in against my express instructions, I still would not want her to feel she had caused my injury; I would want her to believe I protected her because I loved her, not that she had injured me. OH, I am looking forward to part 2!!!

  53. Gravatar

    Wow, truely seperating Our father from sin really changes things. He is ultimately GOOD!
    Great teaching.

    Are there any free beleivers in Wisconsin? My wife and I feel like we're drowning in a religious wilderness and need connections. Thanks

  54. Gravatar

    Legalists and religious lawyers have monopolized Christian theology for so long that to hear someone challenge the most basic foundations of their "crime and punishment" gospel is almost shocking. Thanks for the shock.

  55. Gravatar

    Hi,the articles is wonderfull and inspering the manner in which you justify your point biblically.Thanks God for you.

  56. Gravatar

    What Jesus did that day is a mystery beyond my human comprehension. I consider all the metaphors and proof texts, but in the end they all fail.

    And while my mind grapples with how He did it, my heart only reaches to know why...

  57. Gravatar

    Romans 9 talks about objects of wrath. Just cause lion, the witch, and wardrobe said it does not make it right. Also GOd does punish for sin, and he is holy and just, but he loves us deeply and sent his Son to die for our sins. Now I do not see why it is hard to grasp that God is both kind and severe. It says right in the new testament behold the kindness and severity of our God. Sin did not only kill Jesus. ROmans 5:9 says "since we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from Gods WRATH thorught HIm. So if there is wrath for those that are not justified by faith. WHat is that wrath for? just for not believing. If that is the case then Jesus did not have to die and people could just believe that GOd had a Son. NO! sin had to be paid for. TOo much psychology here.

  58. Gravatar

    THis message feels so good at first, but it lacks the power to change. It seems only good to sit and ponder. I hear Darin say that he is open to universalism if he was led that way. JEsus confronted hypocrisy in the pharisees not the law. I think Darin is severely a people pleaser, and has gathered many around him that he tries to please as his own disciples. I can hear it in the audio messages all he talks about is himself. NOw he will say I agree with the bible it is inerrant, and then he will easily say well I may be led to universalism. This is impossible if you believe the bible. ANd this is not for me a preoccupation with hell. It is the power of the cross for those that believe. ANd we know God's heart he is not willing that any should perish.

  59. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Scott, contact me personally at There are MANY Free Believers in Wisconsin. I'd love to hook you us with them.

  60. Gravatar
    Connie Platte

    JImmy, if you honestly think Darin is a "people pleaser" you must be new here. I have listened to almost all of his audio messages and his podcasts as well. I have no idea what you are talking about. If you disagree with something Darin has said or written, just give your opinion and let it be. When you try to attack Darin personally and turn people against him, you just cause everyone to shake their head and stop listening to you. You discredit yourself because you don't come in love. You come name calling. It's just ugly and a big turn off.

  61. Gravatar
    Charles R

    Christ's death results in our salvation in the following manner: 1) He is sinless, flawless, obedient, faithful to God even to the point of doing the Father's will at great personal cost and sacrifice. 2) The obedinece of the Son is a delight to the Father. 3) The Father rewards the Son by giving the Son all power in heaven and on earth, giving all into His hands, giving Him the inheritance of all, etc. 4) The Son then uses the power and authority given to Him to save and redeem creation in the ages to come.

    Compare to the story of Joseph: Joseph is faithfull in all he suffered(his cross), was exalted by pharoah, given all authority in Egypt and used that authority to save Egypt from famine and death.

    Phil 2:8 ...He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with he name that is above every name, 10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean

  62. Gravatar
    Doug in Denver

    Darin, I think that one of the reasons I am drawn to you is that you are so out of the box. But of course it is because you are a brother in Christ without all of the abstract stuff. I get what you are saying. If you were to say that Christ did not atone for our sins, and pay the penalty we are due then I would be out of here and say you were wrong as THAT is the cornerstone of our faith. But you don't say that. I know you agree that the CHIRST paid the penalty for sin, the beast, the torment of our souls. A belief Whether the Lord delivered Christ to the cross or Christ laid himself down does not make either camp a heretic. There are some verses that I do struggle with though: John 3:16 for God Gave..., but what comes to me is that God knew his only son would lay down His life in our place. He let Him do it. I think of Abraham and Isaac. Abe tied him to the altar and was fixing to sacrifice him, but what immediately came to me was the LORD stopped him-what love.

  63. Gravatar
    Doug in Denver

    I am not going to say I didn't struggle with this idea though. I had to read it twice. It rocks me, But to look at God either way is Love. He sent His son in our place, wow that is love. Christ laid down his life for me and it was His own free will without the force of the Father, wow that is love. I see God in either view as amazing love. Your way of thinking is not the traditional view.
    But that is OK.

    The bottom line is Christ paid the penalty for our sins, and love was the motivation. Sin sucks, God is good and merciful. I am sure we can all agree on that.

    God bless Darin.

  64. Gravatar
    Alex P

    Actually, Doug, this is the traditional view. This is a Christus Victor view of the atonement (well, pretty close, Christus Victor says that the penalty is paid to Satan, rather than sin itself) which is what the Church believed in up until the reformation and that many (including C.S. Lewis) still believe in today. The Penal Substitution metaphor, what most reformed Christians believe in, is only traditional for about 400 years rather than 1900.
    Nonetheless... pretty much all views are trying to describe the same thing: God saves us from sin through his Son so that we may have life in knowing our Creator.

  65. Gravatar

    Then why did Jesus ask God to remove this cup from Him? Yet His will be done? Why does it say it pleased God to crush him? Sin did not kill God! God sacrifised His son for our sins so that through His death we are cleansed from sin and can have a relationship with God through Jesus.

    Acts 2:23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

    John 10:18 Christ tells us He has the power to lay His life down and the power to take it up again. He voluntarily laid down His life for me!

    Acts 4:27-28 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

    It was predestined to happen!

  66. Gravatar
    Mike Zittel

    Ok. So, in a practical, real world, everyday way, how does one Pay the wage to sin?

  67. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    You don't. The wage has been paid off already. Paid in full by Christ Himself.

  68. Gravatar

    Darin it's really sad that people are blown around so easily by every wind of doctrine. Your theology about blood sacrifices is totally incorrect. The fact that so many people even give your Biblical knowledge any credence is more proof that we are living in a world of blind followers. By the way what you are saying is new revalation has blown around christiandom before you might want to read some of the Apostle Pauls letters.

  69. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    I've always found it interesting that every time a Christian thinks they know more, and they believe that someone else is wrong, they immediately become condescending, hateful, rude and arrogant. It's become a picture the world has come to expect from the religious crowd. I personally use it as a compass to distinguish the difference between someone who knows Him and someone who only knows ABOUT Him.

  70. Gravatar

    You cannot pick out passages of the bible to suit your beliefs. Either you beleive that God is the God of the Holy Bible or you don't. No one is forcing you to worship him. Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD

  71. Gravatar
    Wow 2

    I think it is crazy, how you say something against wrong teaching and they always want to scream, condescending, hateful, rude and arrogant, judging..

    If you think Christians are harsh at judging you, be very prepared because Christ wont be so easy(it's either "enter" or "depart"!

    Your teaching is wrong, in the way I see it, it is misleading, and in error, so if that makes me condescending, hateful, rude and arrogant for saying so then I guess I am.

  72. Gravatar

    "We esteemed Him, stricken by God." We murdered Jesus and developed a doctrine to blame it on the Father just like Isaiah prophesied that we would.

    I was a fight to the death Reformed proselyte for decades until I learned the truth that Darin has written about here. My sound doctrine city is not a pile of rubble. Its painful to think of the time and money invested in "Bible teaching."

    After reading Shack and Misunderstood God, I suggest "Stricken By God?" edited by Brad Jersak or anything by Baxter Kruger for fellow amateur theologians.

  73. Gravatar

    One minor correction that I hope will inspire further fruitful reflection: Rom. 6:23 says the WAGES of sin is death. I used to think this meant the price WE pay TO sin, but that's not what wages are. Wages are payment from the employer. In this text, Sin is the employer, and wages are what we RECEIVE, not what we PAY. That sort of changes the paradigm. I'm used to hearing about a debt being owed for sin and that Jesus paid the price (death), but Romans 6:23 says that death isn't the penalty for sin, it's the payment FROM sin. Keep up the good work!

  74. Gravatar

    My heart is overwhelmed with God's love and truth. I am sad I have wasted so much time believing lies. Thank you for this article.

  75. Gravatar

    Hi mr. Huff ford,

    I am reading the bible for the first time , hoping
    To get even closer to god, but the opposite is happening. God does not seem like the same god in the new testament. He seems murderous, angry and kind of hateful. Killing of children, rape, punishment , for example sending bears to maul some misbehaving children. Constantly warning his people who will kill them for their offensives. Women having children have to offer a offering to reconcile with god in liviticus. We girls are very unclean.
    Everyone tells me it is all true the whole bible is gods words which scares me to death. Is this how god is? Please help, the more I read the more confused I am, and not seeing god as loving or caring. Help!!

    Very respectfully,

  76. Gravatar
    peter john

    Hi Darin, hope you feel better soon. Peggy's confusion in the blog above is shared by my own step-daughter. In England, Old Testament stories are used by militant atheists to malign the character of God. It might help new readers if the Bible started with the New Testament! Jesus would then set the scene as the physical 'Word of God' and represent our Heavenly Father's true character. In the 21st Century it can be misleading to refer to the OT as 'The word of God'. What God is reported to have said and done was recorded by people with ancient views of the world and pre-Christ perceptions of God. They believed the earth was flat and dominated by gods demanding ritual and sacrifices for mercy, protection, provision and prosperity. OT prophets were stoned and persecuted for teaching that God didn't want blood-sacrifices, but for people to be loving and compassionate like their Creator. (continued on next blog)

  77. Gravatar
    peter john

    peterjohnpt2)Jesus told people their sins were forgiven BEFORE the crucifixion.But most people couldn't escape their box of primitive beliefs.Christ's revelation of God's true nature challenged deeply ingrained religious teaching.He was hounded to death by the 'sin' of disbelief in God's unconditional parental love. Humanity and even Abraham's descendants were locked in deception that God/s demand blood-sacrifices.In Gethsemane Jesus agreed with his Father that there was only one way to complete his mission.Sadly people could only trust God's forgiveness on their own terms.Clearly the cross was the ONLY way to convince people they could be 'at-one' with their Heavenly Father.What a shame we fell into the trap of believing it was the Almighty Creator of the Universe who 'needed' the crucifixion!Jesus steeled himself for the final performance of his public ministry.He acted-out the ultimate parable with his own body.It was called:The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

  78. Gravatar
    Jimmy Tan

    I agree with Darin Hufford that God did not kill his son. No earthly father would do that - how much more our Heavenly Father. Besides, God is love, and love keeps no records of wrongs, so the idea of God as a judge recording and punishing sins does not hold water.

    Another question we can ask ourselves is:
    What if the cross is not about appeasing “God’s wrath” but about overcoming “man’s violence” to Jesus/themselves/one another?

    Here's a blog in which I shared some thoughts based on what I have been learning and exploring about why Jesus became the perfect scapegoat - not because God required it but because man required it - if anyone is interested in reading more about this topic.

    Keeping Darin and his family in my thoughts.

  79. Gravatar
    Janet Ross

    Want to get The Misunderstood God. This article is a big shift for me that fits with all the other shifts God has been making. Keep going, giving & serving, Darin for even many Grace preachers are still bound by structures that are counter productive.

  80. Gravatar

    Scripture tells us , not to go beyond what is written, and lean not on our own understandings, and what do we do? we believe everything but truth,instead of the very word of God. people say that, the truth will set you free, not TRUE. It is the TRUTH of the word of God that sets you free. Darin you are spot on and I thank you for the Grace of fullness Jesus has given you. If I had not found by the Grace of God, Bob George, and people to people ministries, and so many others, and then YOU, the icing on the Life of Christ, how blessed am I. this is my first comment,I am new, only have 96, pod casts under my belt.loving you...Harry

  81. Gravatar

    I just read your book,and commend you on all of your excellent insight. It's a beautiful book, full of much truth. On my personal spiritual journey, in search of Truth, I have come to (personally) realize that the "Son" at that time, in that culture, meant wise one, blessed by God. They called Caesar a Son of God also, along with many other rulers. I've come to realize that Jesus' death had nothing to do with being a blood atonement for our sins. That was added by the writers later in order to fulfill the O. T. Prophecy. I believe that being a Christian means following Jesus' example. I have done a lot of research on the history of the Bible, and how it was put together. I don't believe that God ever told anyone to write a book. I believe that it is inspired in that it was written by those who felt inspired by God, but I don't believe it is the end all / be all. Perhaps the history of man's unfolding interpretation of "God."

  82. Gravatar

    Men killed Jesus. Plain and simple

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