Islam & Christianty

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  • Islam & Christianty

  • God's Justice.

    The second part of the Christian doctrine of the Atonement is that God's Justice requires that a price must be paid for the original and other sins of man. lf God were to pardon a sinner without punishing him would be a denial of His Justice. The Rev. W. Goldsack writes in this connection:


    (lt should be clear as day light to anyone that God cannot break His own Law: He cannot forgive a sinner without first giving him an appropriate punishment. For if He did so, who would call Him Just and Equitable."[1]


    This view shows complete ignorance God. God is not a mere judge or king. He is, as the Qur'an describes Him, "Master of the Day of Judgment". He is not only Just but also Merciful and

    Forgiving. If He finds some real good in a man or sees that he is sincerely repentant, having a real urge to conquer the evil within him, then He may forgive his failings and sins altogether. And this stretch of imagination can be called a violation of His Justice. After all, the only proper motive for punishment is to check evil and reform the offender. To punish a person for his

    past sins, even after he has repented and reformed himself, is a sign of vengeance and not of justice. A God, Whose 'Justice' requires compensation for every fall and sin of man is no better

    than Shylock. The God that we worship — the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds — is the God of Love and Mercy. If He prescribes a law and a way and demands obedience, it is not for His own benefit, but for the benefit of mankind. And if He punishes a man for his faults and sins it is not for His own satisfaction or compensation, as the Christian dogma proclaims, but to check evil and purify the sinner. Hell itself is like a hospital, where the spiritually ill - those afflicted with the diseases of malice, hatred, selfishness, callousness, falsehood, dishonesty, greed, impurity, arrogance, etc. - are cured through the fire of suffering and remorse. But those who have the persistent urge to do good and the sincerely repentant will find God Ever-Ready to forgive their failures and sins without demanding any compensation from them, or from anyone else. Is this not what the prophet Ezekiel proclaimed in the verses of the Bible that we have quoted above? And is this not what Jesus taught in his beautiful parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Prodigal Son? Can we trace the origin of the doctrine that unless every sin is compensated for and someone punished, God's Justice would be outraged to the man who taught us to pray to God in these words "Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors"? Forgiveness of a sinner after punishing him, or someone else on his behalf, is no forgiveness at all. God can and does forgive the faults and sins of those in whom He sees real goodness and those who have turned away from their sins and reformed themselves without punishing them or any other person on their behalf, and this is not against God's Justice.


    In fact this alone is true forgiveness. Thus we read in the Glorious Quran:


    (Say: O My people, who have acted extravagantly against your own souls, despair not 0f the Mercy of God, for He forgiveth the sins altogether. Lo! He is all-Forgiving, All-Merciful. So turn unto Him repentant, and surrender unto Him, before there come unto you the chastisernent,

    When ye cannot be helped.)

    . (39:53.54)


    (Whoso doeth evil or wrangeth his 0wn soul, then seeketh Pardon of God (and reformeth himself), will find Gad Forgiving, Merchful. Whose cammitteth sin, committeth it only against himself God is All-Knowing, All-Wise.)

    (4:1 IO-111)



    [1][1] Rev. W. Goldsack, the Atonement, p. 5.


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