English blog

a minister about conciliation

19-08-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet

In “het Reformatorsich Dagblad” (a Christian, daily newspaper in Holland) was published a report about the annual missionary-afternoon, which earlier this week (15-08-2012) took place in Oene. One of the speakers that afternoon was Rev. Boogaard, a restored, reformed pastor in Ede. His sermon was based on some verses of 2 Corinthians 5, about the sacrifice of Christ. He asserted:

From these texts – where everything revolves around the conciliation –   it shows that something is not right with man”, he suggested. “The conciliation is initiated by God. This is established by the Anointed One, Who was willing to bear the punishment.”

2 Corinthians 5, indeed, is about conciliation, which entirely emanates from God. “All this is from God who conciliates us to Himself…,” Paul wrote (5:18). “With man, something is wrong,” said Rev. Boogaard. That also is correct, but the problem is not that man is guilty, for which he must be punished. Neither guilt nor punishment plays a role in the concept of conciliation. Neither of these two concepts are mentioned in 2 Corinthians 5, nor in any passage, where Paul (as the only apostle!) presents the concept of conciliation (Rom.5; Rom.11; 2Cor.5; Eph.2; Col.1). Conciliation settles the problem of enmity. God arranged for His Son to be crucified by the world, but also for the world. “… One died for all” (2Cor.5:15). And earlier, Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “As in Adam all are dying, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1Cor.15:22). Rev. Boogaard continued:

“The Bible does not teach that the whole world will be saved, but it does teach that the scope of this sacrifice is sufficient for the whole world. (…) The central message is that God, in Christ, is conciliated, and that, therefore, conciliation between God and apostate, hostile rebels is possible… “

God does not make conciliation possible. God conciliates, that is, HE makes enemies into friends. Humanity is estranged from God. “If God is love, then why…?” is the great complaint against God, since time immemorial. But GOD PROVES His love and HE convinces His creatures thereof. That is conciliation; not optionally, but realistically. This is not only true for all mankind, but for every hostile or alienated creature, “whether on earth or whether in heaven.” Read and believe what Paul wrote:

to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens. Col.1:20

Rev. Boogaard may deny that “the whole world will be saved,” nevertheless, the Bible clearly enough says that Jesus Christ is “the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42, 1Joh.4:14) and not merely for the world. And Paul writes: “the living God is the Savior of all mankind…” (1Tim.4: 10) and not just for all mankind. And then, as yet, the comment of Rev. Boogaard, that in the Bible “the central message is that God, in Christ Jesus, is conciliated”. I challenge Rev. Boogaard to show even one text where that is written. It always is the Biblical testimony that God conciliated mankind or the world to Himself (Rom.5:10; 2Cor.5:18,19; Eph.2:16; Col.1:20,21). This is exactly the opposite. God is not conciliated, for the simple reason that He was never hostile! Indeed, the doctrine that God is conciliated, precisely demonstrates the religious enmity of man. It teaches, namely, a hostile God, Who now only (eventually) has become harmless, because another leapt into the breach, to function as a ‘lightning rod’. But this is a caricature and reversal of affairs. God reconciles the world with Himself and not Himself with the world. After having read such statements by a preacher, the headline above the report, in het Reformatorisch Dagblad, obtains a somewhat different meaning: “Once there will be no more ministers, what would that be wonderful.”