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The Demands of Justice


What demands the price of Justice?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. When justice needs to be satisfied what is payment of the price satisfying?

    • Cosmological balance (natural law)
    • God's own laws/rules
    • Offense against God personally
    • Requirements for entry to the next level (Celestial)
    • Laws of our current situation
    • Something else entirely (comment below)


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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

So that would lean to natural law, cause and effect.  Our actions create the need for a necessary penalty as a natural consequence.  Like burning ourselves when we touch a hot surface.
The penalty is owed automatically, not applied.  Nothing other than the built in effect of the sin causing a penalty to be administered.

Yes, it is a natural/eternal law, but all of the other options apply too.

 

God's own laws/rules - because his laws/rules comply/agree with natural/eternal laws/rules
 
Offense against God personally - because anything that is an offense to natural/eternal laws/rules is an offense to God too
 
Requirements for entry to the next level (Celestial) - because compliance/agreement with natural/eternal laws is required for celestial glory
 
Laws of our current situation - because justice is required at least to some degree in our current situation too
 
Something else entirely (comment below) - such as justice being required to satisfy the demands of Satan who doesn't want anyone to escape the natural/eternal consequences for each of their actions.  Satan is not big on mercy, ya know.  And God's mercy does not rob justice of its due

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On 1/21/2021 at 3:01 PM, rongo said:

I chose cosmological balance, by which I mean, the eternal intelligences. 

22 hours ago, Gillebre said:

In the previous thread about the Atonement theory @rongo mentioned, and again here, about God's honor and the eternal intelligences. I've done some reading in the past and came across this then, but not until recently did I encounter it again. I would put forth the first option as my best guess and belief: that God's authority is, in my opinion, the honor and willing obedience given Him by all creation on account of his perfection, justice, and grace.

When the individual repents and joins the covenant relationship with their Savior, they in oneness take upon themselves His name, His perfection, and ultimately His innocence, which satisfies the demands of justice because He stood in their place, paying for their sins. All demands of justice are therefore answered by the suffering and death of Him who did no sin, and not on the former sinner. As they become a new creature and joint-heir with Christ they are rendered sinless and innocent, as He is, because their sins are answered upon His head and not their own. This allows them all the time they need after this life to actually become perfect. 

 

This is also my favorite theory, and I think it best explains the demands of justice.  It is authored by Cleon Skousen.  I remember first reading it towards the end of my mission in 1999.

There is a transcript here:

http://whitebinder.com/index.php/articles/talks-and-stories/talks-by-church-leaders/147-the-meaning-of-the-atonement

 

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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

 

This is also my favorite theory, and I think it best explains the demands of justice.  It is authored by Cleon Skousen.  I remember first reading it towards the end of my mission in 1999.

There is a transcript here:

http://whitebinder.com/index.php/articles/talks-and-stories/talks-by-church-leaders/147-the-meaning-of-the-atonement

That **is** the text of the typescript I read in 1995. Thanks for posting an online link.

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I suspect natural law. That beings who have fallen as far as we have somehow passed beyond the ability to become exalted even if we did "pay for our own sins".

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3 hours ago, Ahab said:

Yes, it is a natural/eternal law, but all of the other options apply too.

 

God's own laws/rules - because his laws/rules comply/agree with natural/eternal laws/rules
 
Offense against God personally - because anything that is an offense to natural/eternal laws/rules is an offense to God too
 
Requirements for entry to the next level (Celestial) - because compliance/agreement with natural/eternal laws is required for celestial glory
 
Laws of our current situation - because justice is required at least to some degree in our current situation too
 
Something else entirely (comment below) - such as justice being required to satisfy the demands of Satan who doesn't want anyone to escape the natural/eternal consequences for each of their actions.  Satan is not big on mercy, ya know.  And God's mercy does not rob justice of its due

You really aren't big on compartmentalizing are you.  ;)

But I actually agree with what you are saying here.  Nothing in the gospel exists in a vacuum.  Just like the atonement is both Gethsemane and Calvary and beyond.

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

You really aren't big on compartmentalizing are you.  ;)

Actually I am, as I work as an accountant.  I can just see the bigger picture at the same time while seeing how everything fits together as a comprehensive package too.

6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

But I actually agree with what you are saying here.  Nothing in the gospel exists in a vacuum.  Just like the atonement is both Gethsemane and Calvary and beyond.

The atonement is what makes all of us at one with God when otherwise we would all be estranged from each other.  Probably the biggest comprehensive health package I can imagine.

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5 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

So that would lean to natural law, cause and effect.  Our actions create the need for a necessary penalty as a natural consequence.  Like burning ourselves when we touch a hot surface.
The penalty is owed automatically, not applied.  Nothing other than the built in effect of the sin causing a penalty to be administered.

I think that, because we and God are subjective beings, the penalty is as much applied as it is automatic (another way of explaining what I did above).

A soul is connected spirit and element, something entirely different than either spirit or element on their own. Elements are generally considered to be without subjectivity and will, at least in relation to spirits. But the soul, depending on its scope of agency, possesses and exhibits various degrees of subjectivity (acting) and objectivity (being acted upon). Inseparably connected spirit and element means that neither spirit nor element acts independently of the other. God does this in perfection.

It is this subjectivity that I think generates the relationship that has been discussed about intelligences sustaining God as theirs. When they don't, he is not their God, but neither do they enjoy enjoy His ways.

 

Edited by CV75
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Justice is not a penalty. Justice is not subtraction. It is restoration. Justice IS mercy.

What you have done unto the least, you have done unto me.

You can come into the feast at any time.

Isaiah chapter 1:11-17

What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; [I don't care about your baptisms and your priesthood; your special musical numbers and your Sunday School classes; I'm tired of your films and robes . . . that's pretty much what he's saying to a previous generation]

YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF BLOOD
   
Wash yourselves [OF THE BLOOD]; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.

verse 27: ZION SHALL BE REDEEMED BY JUSTICE

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11 hours ago, Gillebre said:

So I'm halfway through this, and I can't thank you enough for sharing this treasure. With the gift of the Holy Ghost we can learn more and appreciate the thoughts and insights from Brother Skousen. It just occurred to me, and I'm not even done reading, that the demands of justice are coming from those eternal intelligences. I know that's how I voted in my reply and agreed with it, but it just struck me so clearly. Those intelligences demand justice because God has set up laws and given commandments, and since we can't meet them on our own, fallen and imperfect as we are, we MUST have a Savior or else those intelligences will not honor and obey the Father on account of his ignoring His own rules. His honor is His power, their obedience and trust in Him for His perfection, and if He were to save us in our sins or without the Atonement He would cease to be God because He has lost honor with the intelligences of creation.

I'm excited tonight to ponder and pray about what I've read.

Edited to add: I took the text and put it into a pdf so it's easier to process, the website was giving me some issues.

The Meaning of the Atonement.pdf 125.59 kB · 1 download

This why I think the law is ourselves, for better or worse, as demonstrated in the following two concepts:

"For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I willbless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee." -- Hebrews 6:12, 13

"That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether bideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still." -- D&C 88:35

We can have no law that is expanded beyond ourselves without the Lord revealing it and our accepting it. It is personal, subjective and relational... which to me is "natural", but "natural" seems, in this conversation, to be used to mean impersonal and apart from personal experience (as with element alone).

Edited by CV75
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On 1/22/2021 at 11:55 AM, JLHPROF said:

I like all this.  But again, my question from the OP is to whom is the bolded part owed?  Who or what is that penalty owed to?  Owing it to "justice" is a vague term.  Owing it to God makes it subject to his will only.  But something has to exist that demands that penalty.

Is it a law of nature - a natural consequence if you will?  Cause and effect?

Does Packer's parable in chapter 12 of Gospel Principles explain it?

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On 1/22/2021 at 8:35 PM, Gillebre said:

With the gift of the Holy Ghost we can learn more and appreciate the thoughts and insights from Brother Skousen. It just occurred to me, and I'm not even done reading, that the demands of justice are coming from those eternal intelligences. I know that's how I voted in my reply and agreed with it, but it just struck me so clearly. Those intelligences demand justice because God has set up laws and given commandments, and since we can't meet them on our own, fallen and imperfect as we are, we MUST have a Savior or else those intelligences will not honor and obey the Father on account of his ignoring His own rules. His honor is His power, their obedience and trust in Him for His perfection, and if He were to save us in our sins or without the Atonement He would cease to be God because He has lost honor with the intelligences of creation.

We must have such a BELIEF which makes rational sense to us

At first.

 That is the sense in which we are saved by faith and belief that Jesus IS THE SAVIOR 

THEN we as an individual receive a revelation that it is so. That is what cements it.

Imo of course 

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On 1/21/2021 at 3:38 PM, JLHPROF said:

A few of the responses are focusing on the person that broke the law, ie repentance, accountability, restitution, etc.
That's not really what I'm getting at.

If I were to mug somebody and get arrested "justice" would demand a criminal penalty.  It might include restitution, reform of my character, and paying the price through incarceration.
But in a criminal act the price is paid by the criminal "to society" and sometimes "to the court" or "to the victim".

But if I commit a sin that needs to be paid for does the same kind of guideline apply?  Let's say I break the sabbath and refuse to repent so justice requires a price (and for whatever reason I refuse to allow Christ to cover it).
Who or what is requiring the payment?
When Christ paid the price for our sins he covered the demands of justice.  What forms the ledger?  What determines the price has been paid?

What is "justice" that it should demand a payment?

Is it cloud?  Is it a spirit blindfolded holding a scale?   Who makes the determination of the "price" of murder vs missing church on Sunday?

What is the payment and how is it measured?

I am simply drawing attention to creating a vocabulary to deal with these terms.

I believe in the PRINCIPLE of the atonement that Jesus took away our guilt and we can go to HIM to be healed of all our guilt and pain both physical mental and spiritual.

I KNOW because I have experienced it!   I KNOW it is "real"!!

But the words and stories do not make sense logically.   I think there is a category error here- explaining sin in terms of paying a debt.

The analogy just doesn't work.

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3 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

But the words and stories do not make sense logically.   I think there is a category error here- explaining sin in terms of paying a debt.

The analogy just doesn't work.

An interesting perspective.  I don't think I've ever read any analysis of the Fall and Atonement that don't involve the balancing of a scale, a ledger, a debt.
The whole concept of redemption relies on it.

I agree that the atonement is beyond our ability to comprehend but if the principles don't make sense logically what are we to do with them?

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On 1/21/2021 at 11:38 PM, JLHPROF said:

A few of the responses are focusing on the person that broke the law, ie repentance, accountability, restitution, etc.
That's not really what I'm getting at.

If I were to mug somebody and get arrested "justice" would demand a criminal penalty.  It might include restitution, reform of my character, and paying the price through incarceration.
But in a criminal act the price is paid by the criminal "to society" and sometimes "to the court" or "to the victim".

But if I commit a sin that needs to be paid for does the same kind of guideline apply?  Let's say I break the sabbath and refuse to repent so justice requires a price (and for whatever reason I refuse to allow Christ to cover it).
Who or what is requiring the payment?
When Christ paid the price for our sins he covered the demands of justice.  What forms the ledger?  What determines the price has been paid?

Man's punishment for guilt satisfies only earthly justice. It doesn't satisfy eternal justice, at all. 

As for who is requiring the payment, heck I don't know. One might as well say that the universe that demands payment, and we don't know why. But God being a lawful being, He must collect. Christ having given payment without a demand (or sin), has the only other alternative. If you do what he says, he will open the door for you that you may enter within his sheepcote. And justice will be satisfied. You must understand that the Atonement gave Christ infinite power to forgive sins, and to satisfy justice at his election. I'm convinced we cannot understand this process fully, not in mortality. Just be satisfied that that is the way of it. Jesus saves, and there we are. 

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28 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I agree that the atonement is beyond our ability to comprehend but if the principles don't make sense logically what are we to do with them?

The analogy of quantum mechanics applies here. Feynman once said "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don't understand quantum mechanics." The same applies to the Atonement, and the necessity for it. 

But just as you don't have to understand quantum mechanics in order to live day-to-day, neither do you have to understand the Atonement in order to let Jesus save you.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

An interesting perspective.  I don't think I've ever read any analysis of the Fall and Atonement that don't involve the balancing of a scale, a ledger, a debt.
The whole concept of redemption relies on it.

I agree that the atonement is beyond our ability to comprehend but if the principles don't make sense logically what are we to do with them?

Use a different analogy.

We cannot possibly understand how it "really works"   Impossible!  We are puny humans and even worse, all we have are words to describe the indescribable!

Step one is to acknowledge it- that language is limited in these matters, and that we speak only in stories.   What is needed is a logical way for our logical century and last century.   We keep thinking in scientific terms as if we are describing a "mirror" image of the "reality" of what is happening.

But what is happening is indescribable and we have no words- YET- to describe it, except for an acknowledgement that we have NEVER really been able to describe it.  So if we have a new story, it is probably no worse than the old story, just that we acknowledge that we cannot REALLY understand it.

BUT BILLIONS HAVE DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF HOW THE CHRIST HAS CHANGED THEIR LIVES!!!   THE BENEFITS are REAL in a measurable way!

So perhaps if we think in terms of beneficial beliefs which cannot be proven scientifically - we will be on our way.  ALL of morality is based on beliefs like that.  How is murder "wrong"?

Why is being honest and serving others considered "Good"?  

Because these beliefs have pragmatic value!   It is useful for society to believe these things because the beliefs are actually beneficial for our survival 

I have posted a video of noted atheist Christopher Hitchens making the case for morality simply as something "everyone knows" and feels deep inside.  

We all know that feeling and WE CALL it the "light of Christ" and account for it using spiritual terms, which we use instead of Hitchens' terminology yet we can see we are describing the "same thing"

And THAT is why I think the Skousen theory has received positive comments here- it is a different way of seeing it in some respects, but the explanation fits better with our contemporary way of thinking.

We live in a psychological age and THAT IS counted as a "science" and it is clear that religious belief has tremendous psychological benefits which are real and measurable.

Perhaps explaining these things in psychological terms would make communication with others, critics included, more receptive.

But those of us who have direct religious confirmation of such things need no stories- we KNOW firmly that it is literally another HUGE intelligence our there with whom we are communicating "by the spirit" as we say in our paltry descriptions.

This phenomenon is as REAL as anything can be!   We have billions of testimonies of Christians for the last 2000 years as evidence!!

But we have to see it that way!

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

The analogy of quantum mechanics applies here. Feynman once said "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don't understand quantum mechanics." The same applies to the Atonement, and the necessity for it. 

But just as you don't have to understand quantum mechanics in order to live day-to-day, neither do you have to understand the Atonement in order to let Jesus save you.

Yes, this is exactly it!

We have an old paradigm and are working toward a new paradigm.  But all we have even in science are paradigms!

We don't stop seeing light because we don't know if it's best paradigm is as a particle or a wave.  Of if the falling tree makes a "sound"

We can dream up questions which defy language itself- like the tree in the forest, and then pretend it has some significance

And we don't worry if YOUR brain's perception of "blue" is the same as my brain's.   It's unknowable and irrelevant to the realities of life.

Edited by mfbukowski
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Bump.

Just another time around the circle, if y'all don't mind.

I want to see if anyone has more on this subject

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35 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Bump.

Just another time around the circle, if y'all don't mind.

I want to see if anyone has more on this subject

The demands of justice are the rejection of grace. This how, by grace, Heavenly Father allowed that the righteousness of Christ forgive those who repent of rejecting grace (Romans 5:11 - 21).

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22 hours ago, CV75 said:

The demands of justice are the rejection of grace. This how, by grace, Heavenly Father allowed that the righteousness of Christ forgive those who repent of rejecting grace (Romans 5:11 - 21).

 You know I must admit that those passages are among the most opaque in scripture for me. Could you help me with an explanation?

 That passage almost seems like a proof text for original sin?

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On 1/22/2021 at 3:36 PM, JLHPROF said:

Our actions create the need for a necessary penalty as a natural consequence.

What penalty was incurred by Adam and Eve?

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15 minutes ago, telnetd said:

What penalty was incurred by Adam and Eve?

Death and the removal of the physical presence of the Father.

Plus all those fun little curses about work, childbirth, etc.

Edited by JLHPROF
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6 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

 You know I must admit that those passages are among the most opaque in scripture for me. Could you help me with an explanation?

 That passage almost seems like a proof text for original sin?

Oh my, I am hardly the person to ask, I am not a scholar at all. From what I understand from Wikipedia, I do not believe that we “inherit a tainted nature and a proclivity to sin through the fact of birth.” Instead, I believe we inherit a fallen world with a veil over it, so we are bound to err both ignorantly and willingly. The Father behind the veil still exerts His grace.

If the proof text is verse 19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,” I would say that the accountable are not made sinners by inheriting Adam’s genes, but are made sinners through our choices in the fallen world he left us. He made the world the way it is, and our bodies; he did not make our spirits that make the choices and do the sinning.

But what caught my eye about this passage is the third element in the atonement of Christ, the Father’s grace, in reconciling justice and mercy so that the refusal and demand, and the provision and denial, of these elements is strictly an interpersonal matter between us and Them.

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On 2/8/2021 at 3:05 PM, telnetd said:

What penalty was incurred by Adam and Eve?

In my opinion, none.

He was following God's plan by giving us agency.

All the other alleged "penalties" for sin were actually part of the natural consequences for us living in an indeterminate world where choice is a real possibility, where accidents can happen, and people can deliberately do wrong, and wrong choices for most are just part of living.

I would never blame this mess on God OR Adam and Eve, but for me it is simply The Plan which I think exists on all worlds and always has.  THIS mess is actually God's work and his glory- and is the ONLY WAY He can bring to pass our immortality and eternal lives.

It's like blaming our inability to get into college on the guy who invented the SAT.

(Yes I know it has been discontinued.)

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