Recently I was listening to Justin Peters’ discernment video on why Todd White should step down as a pastor. I frequently listen to Peters as I respect his vital ministry of calling out those who would impugn Christ through false teaching or shameful and ungodly practices. I don’t know much about Todd White but Peters’ rebuke seems well-placed and quite compelling.
Nevertheless, during the video I was disturbed to hear Peters explain the meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:21 by appealing to a doctrine commonly referred to as double-imputation. According to Ligonier Ministries double imputation is a “twofold transaction” where “our sin is imputed to Jesus. [And] His righteousness is imputed to [us].” Todd White used a hyper-literal apprehension of 2 Corinthians 5:21 to equate Christ with the worst type of sins (an egregious error which many Bible commentators have committed). In seeking to correct White’s misuse of the passage, Peters appeals to the doctrine of imputation. Once upon a time, I too espoused imputation. I did so because esteemed Christian leaders led the way and also because I had never critically looked into its implications.
Peters has rightly directed his ire toward Todd White for the unfathomable impiety of saying deplorable things such as: “Jesus became child pornography.” However, by Peters arguing that our sins were imputed to Christ (an action which requires Christ to become an epic sinner) how is his position any less sacrilegious?
The following dialogue is between myself and another YouTube viewer who, siding with Peters, questioned my critique of Peters’ explanation.
There are three historical accounts that have remarkably similar parallels.
In the Old Testament, in 1 Kings 13 is the historical account of a prophet from Judah who is sent to Bethel to confront the rebellious King Jeroboam with a message from God. God instructs the prophet from Judah not to eat or drink anything while in Bethel and not to return to Judah using the same path that he took to get to Bethel (v.8-9). During the course of the Judean prophet’s stay in Bethel, he is confronted by an “old prophet” (v.11) who tries to get him to dine with him at his house in Bethel (v.15). The Judean prophet rebuffs the offer informing the old prophet that God had instructed him not to dine in Bethel (v.16-17). The old prophet then informs the Judean prophet that an angel from God revealed new instructions to him and that the newer revelation from God, contrary to the first, permitted him to dine in Bethel after all (v. 18). The Judean prophet decides to adhere to the new revelation and ends up dining in the home of the old prophet (v.19). For his disobedience, God sends a lion to slay the Judean prophet (v.21-24). Was the Judean prophet wrong for rejecting the old revelation of God for the purportedly “new” revelation from an angel?
Mohammed (570-632) was an Arabian prophet who, according to Islam, was the last messenger of Allah. As a prophet, Mohammed’s message to his contemporaries was that an angel named Gabriel had brought him new revelation from God. This new revelation is contained in the Quran, Islam’s central religious text. The Islamic understanding of this new revelation is that the old revelation is wrong in certain places. For instance, the Quran denies that God has a son (in Surah 10:68; 19:88, etc.) whereas both the O.T and the N.T. affirm the existence of God’s son (in Psalm 2:7 & John 3:16, etc.). In another example, the Bible describes God as triune (Isaiah 48:16, 1 John 5:7) whereas the Quran repudiates this claim (Surah 4:171, Surah 5:17; 5:70-75). As is evidenced by the millions of professing Muslims today, many have chosen to affirm the new revelation’s claim that it has superseded the old. Are Muslims wrong for rejecting the “old” revelation of God for the purportedly “new” revelation from an angel?
Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was an American prophet, who according to Mormonism (or the Latter Day Saints or LDS), was chosen by God to initiate the restoration of the Christian church. As a prophet, Joseph Smith’s message to his contemporaries was that an angel named Moroni had brought to his attention new revelation from God. This new revelation is contained in the Book of Mormon, one of Mormonism’s standard works. The LDS church’s understanding of this new revelation is that the old revelation is wrong in certain places. For instance, the Book of Mormon teaches that little children do not have a sin nature and are therefore incapable of committing sin (Moroni 8:8) whereas the Bible insists that all descendants of Adam, except Christ, are already sinners at conception (Romans 5:12; Psalm 51:5). In another example, the Bible asserts that Adam and Eve could have kept God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) without disobeying God’s command regarding the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17). Hence the Bible portrays Adam’s disobedience as unnecessary and ruinous (Romans 5:12-19). On the other hand, the Book of Mormon maintains that Adam and Eve’s obedience of Genesis 2:17 would have rendered them childless and hence their disobedience was a laudable act which brought joy to mankind (2 Nephi 2:23-25). As is evidenced by the millions of professing Mormons today, many have chosen to affirm the new revelation’s claim that it has superseded the old. Are Mormons wrong for rejecting the “old” revelation of God for the purportedly “new” revelation from an angel?
Prophet’s name was:
Received “new” revelation from an angel
The angel’s name was:
Does the new revelation claim to supersede the original revelation?
Was the decision to follow the “new” revelation right or wrong?
1 Kings 13
An unnamed Judean Prophet
Does the Bible weigh in on which road the decision maker should have taken?
Yes. In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul says that the decision maker should always disregard new revelation if it does not accord with the old, even if the new revelation is delivered by an angel.
What is the Feast of Weeks (a.k.a. Shavuot or Pentecost)?
The Feast of Weeks (Hebrew: Shavuot; Greek: Pentecost) is the fourth of seven annual appointed times which God in His word has commanded His assembly/congregation to keep. Shavuot, like most of the other six feasts, is an annual Sabbath day (a.k.a. High Sabbath). Shavuot is the only one of the seven appointed times which occurs in or near the summer.
The Spring Feasts:
The Feast of Passover (Pesach – Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 28:16, Exodus 12:18) foreshadowed the shedding of Christ’s blood, the Passover Lamb of God (1 Corinthians 5:7) and the power of that blood to avert God’s wrath at Calvary as it did in Egypt on the 14th of Nissan. The Passover Lamb was a wrath-spearer, not a wrath-bearer.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot – Leviticus 23:6-8, Numbers 28:17-25, Exodus 23:15) foreshadowed Christ’s condemnation of the sin in our flesh which puffs us up like leaven (Romans 8:3; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8) and the final removal of sin at Calvary (1 Corinthians 5:8). [2 High Sabbaths]
The Feast of Firstfruits (Yom HaBikkurim or Reishit Katzir – Leviticus 23:9-14, Numbers 28:26-31) foreshadowed Christ’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-23) as Jesus was resurrected on this very day.
The Feast of Weeks (Shavu’ot or Pentecost – Leviticus 23:15-22) foreshadows the giving of the Spirit to the church (Acts 2:1-4). [High Sabbath]