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Monday, April 7, 2014

Can Protestants drink from Christ's Cup and Carry their Cross in obedience to Jesus? I don't think so.

Today on John Piper's Desiring God Blog a guest writer named Steven Lee wrote a post titled "The Cup Consumed for Us." The post is a brief reflection on Matthew 20:20-28 where the apostles James and John are asked by Jesus "Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" Lee interprets this verse in the way many Calvinists do, claiming that this cup Jesus is going to drink is "the cup of God's wrath." But is this true? And wouldn't such a claim make nonsense of Our Lord's words? That's what I'll address in this post. 

Here's the essence of what Lee had to say:
What do we make of Jesus’s unusual statement, “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?”

Key passages in the Bible connect God’s wrath with the imagery of a cup. ... [Jeremiah 25:15; Isaiah 51:17; Revelation 14:9-10; Matthew 26:39] ...

This is the same cup Jesus asks his disciples about in Matthew 20. It’s the cup of God’s wrath, a cup that has accumulated the fury of God against sins of all types. . . .
There, at Golgotha, our Savior drained God’s cup of burning anger down to the dregs. God poured out his wrath, full strength, undiluted, onto his Son. Paul summarizes the meaning of this great event, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath for us so that he could extend the cup of God’s fellowship to us. We don’t get wrath anymore — now we get God. We get the sweet, satisfying reality of his eternal fellowship in Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit.
This 'reflection' is a good example of how Protestants unwittingly fall for traditions of men and don't even realize it. For a first time reader, all this might sound nice and even biblical, but upon asking the right questions you will see that this reasoning is seriously flawed and even dangerous.

First of all, identifying the "cup" of Matthew 20:22-23 as the "cup of God's wrath" is bad exegesis. The text doesn't say anything about the cup being God's wrath, nor do we see this when the Evangelists describe the Crucifixion. [1] The Gospel writers say nothing about God pouring out his wrath, "full strength, undiluted, onto his Son." That's just desperation to find proof for a teaching that isn't really Biblical at all. And as I've said ad nauseam on my numerous blog posts addressing Penal Substitution, such statements by Calvinists are pure blasphemy against the Holy Trinity. 

The desperation goes so far as to make 2 Corinthians 5:21 a favorite magical text of Protestantism that says everything without really saying it at all. In this case, Lee follows the Protestant tradition of men which interprets the "made sin" of 2 Corinthians 5:21 as Jesus being damned by the Father. But enough of 2 Corinthians, let me show further why Lee's Calvinist interpretation is so far off the mark.

Notice that in the original account when Jesus asks James and John if they can drink the cup, they respond in the affirmative, as Lee rightly notes. And Jesus responds to their affirmative by saying: "The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized" (Mark 10:38-39). Now obviously if Jesus is going to be damned in their place by taking on the Father's undiluted full fury merited by the sins of James and John and all believers, then it's astonishing that Jesus would say they too will drink from the cup and be baptized with the baptism Jesus will undergo. So Lee's "solution" is that Jesus drank so we wouldn't have to, and that in fact Jesus turned the cup they will drink from wrath into something sweet and refreshing. This is quite ridiculous and is clearly a desperate attempt to get around the text. Jesus is clearly issuing a challenge here, not an invitation to have a relaxing drink.

The only way you can read the text at face value is if you abandon the God's Wrath interpretation and abandon Penal Substitution. The text is simply saying this 'cup' and 'baptism' Jesus will undergo are figurative descriptions for persecutions at the hands of the Jews and Romans for the sake of the Gospel, as the Gospel accounts plainly teach. And Jesus is saying James and John will drink and be baptized both as a prophecy and as a warning that they too will undergo persecutions for the sake of the Gospel (as they surely did!). So there's no difficulty here at all if you're not following traditions of men on this point. 

It's sad to see the way the typical Protestant reading of such texts nullify the teachings of Our Lord and make nonsense of them. It's a wonder that Protestants can really explain Christ's teaching when He said other challenging things such as:
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:23-24)
Now if the Cross is about Jesus enduring the Father's undiluted full wrath upon Himself so that we wouldn't have to, why in the world is Jesus demanding that anyone who wants to be a Christian must "take up their cross"? I feel that such passages cannot be explained by the Protestant (Calvinist) paradigm, which would also explain why Protestants typically ignore such texts all together. But such texts are quite beautiful if one would simply follow Scripture instead of traditions of men by dropping the Penal Substitution motif all together. As with the Cup/Baptism account, the Cross is that of suffering persecutions and life's hardships out of love for God. And with this, it makes perfect sense for Jesus to make it a requirement for each of us to carry our cross daily. 

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[1] Even if it were granted that the 'cup' Jesus spoke of in the Gospels was in some way linked to the "cup of God's wrath" referenced in Jeremiah 25:15 and Isaiah 51:17, this wouldn't support the Protestant reading anyway. This is because the "wrath" referenced in those Old Testament texts is not that of damnation to hellfire, but rather temporal physical persecutions which God sent upon Israel (Jeremiah 25:28-29). This wrath was not just confined to those evil doers, but it was a blanket condemnation on the whole area, even the innocent (including OT prophets) had to endure the suffering hitting the whole region, e.g.: "If those who did not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, will you go unpunished?" (Jeremiah 49:12). Clearly such texts cannot mean God damned those "who did not deserve" it. So with this in mind, Jesus could drink the 'cup' of God's judgment upon all creation, namely living in this fallen world with all it's miseries, including the punishment effects of suffering and death which we are all subject to endure ourselves.

23 comments:

guy fawkes said...

Nick, Speaking of "this cup", I have heard Scott Hahn speaking on the 4th Cup theory say that in the garden Jesus may have been asking not to undergo the crucifixion. I hope I am not misquoting him as I love his work.
However, I have read that Calvin was the very first person to suggest that Jesus asked the Father to release him if possible, from the cross.
As a kid, we were taught the cup was us not using the graces merited on Calvary.
What do you think?
Jim R


John W. said...

Such a simple refutation that should be so clear to anyone with basic biblical knowledge.

A clear case of apriori doctrines driving interpretation of scripture or more precisely, the reading into scripture.

Nick said...

Hello Jim,

It is correct to say that Jesus asked the Father if there was an alternative way, and this was to affirm that life is precious and that suffering is not fun. But Jesus included the most crucial clause, "Thy Will be done," to teach us that even if a certain path might not be fun to take, it's really ultimately God's Will we need to be fixed on. This event also shows us that Jesus truly had free will, specifically the ability to choose among various good options (preserving your life and doing God's Will).

Joey Henry said...

It's really nice to have extra time not having classes to teach or work to do. So let me briefly respond on this one.

The main premise of Nick is clear. He wrote, "First of all, identifying the "cup" of Matthew 20:22-23 as the "cup of God's wrath" is bad exegesis." Is this correct?

It is commonly accepted for both Protestant and RC exegetes to identify the cup as the cup of God's anger. For example, in Sacra Pagina written by two RC Scholars, John R. Donahue, SJ and David J. Harrington, SJ, they wrote:

"The "cup" (poterion) metaphor is synonymous with the "the hour" in 14:35, and so it very likely has both historical (Jesus' suffering) and eschatological (the coming of God's kingdom) aspects. In the OT the "cup" image is often used by the prophets to describe the suffering that God will bring on the enemies of God's people on the wicked (see Isa 51:17; Jer 25:15-16; 51:7;Ezek 23:33; Ps 75:8)... In all three cases there is a reference to the suffering of Jesus in the metaphor of the cup" (p.408).

In the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, Mary Healy, wrote:

"The cup, like the hour (14:35), signifies the passion, and evokes the Old Testament image of the cup of devastation that will fall on the wicked in punishment fr their sin (Ps 75:9; Isa 51:17; Ezek 23:33)"

Both of these works have imprimaturs and nihil obstat. Thus, to say that it is bad exegesis to see the OT background of the meaning of the "cup" is in line with solid scholarship and exegesis contra Nick's assertion.

Secondly, Nick has a disclaimer saying that even of the cup is linked to Is and Jer he still contends that it doesn't lend support to Psub because the cup spoken there do not refer to hellfire. The argument is simply red herring, since Psub theorists do not argue that the OT references is talking about hellfire. Rather, when one has the OT background in mind, it right givea us a glimpse of how the metaphor is used... that being, the cup, is a reference of God's righteous indignation of sin which the Lord is going to drink. It is this vivid picture of God's anger toward sin that Christ will receive at the passion. This is furthermore corroborated by the biblical explanation that "Christ bore our sins in his body" (1 Pet 2:24) and that the Lord "condemned sin in his flesh" (Rom 8:4). It is not illogical for Christ being the sin bearer to receive the righteous indignation of God toward sin per the biblical data.

Lastly, Nick's argues that because Christ said that James and John would drink of the same cup he drank then it should debunk the Psub exegesis as portrayed above. However, the reasoning faulty because Christians are told to follow Christ in his death and resurrection (Romans 6) but the purpose is different from Christ's. Just as we are told to take up our cross as Jesus did, we are not propitiating for sin by doing so. Christ role in the atonement is unique that no other men can participate in that role. That being said, the uniqueness of that role has many implications on our Christian practice that we are to emulate not because we, like Christ, are sin bearers. The continuity and discontonuity of the analogy is somehow swept under the rug on Nick's demand that it should carry with it the full implication of Jesus' experience to his disciples. It would seem like, in this view, the disciples are more courageous than Christ, more willing than Christ to take the cup if we are not careful to distinguish the uniqueness of Christ's role in drinking that cup vis a vis his disciples.

-- Joey Henry

Nick said...

Joey,

I had originally clarified in the original post that the cup is not referring to hellfire type wrath. If that's what a Protestant is going to assert, then they've got to prove it. That's what I meant when I said bad exegesis. It is not a red-herring for me to deny the hellfire interpretation can simply be applied to the NT.

You claimed (or at least appear to be claiming) that the hellfire wrath interpretation is corrobrorated by texts such as 1 Peter 2:24 and Romans 8:4. I have addressed these texts in the past, but especially 1 Peter 2:24, where I showed that the *context* itself plainly goes against the Psub interpretation. The Reformed are notorious (at least the one's I've seen) for ignoring the context of 1 Peter 2:24 when discussing Psub.

Lastly, I think you missed the essence of what I was saying about us carrying our cross and drinking the cup. I was simply saying that if Cup/Cross are defined as essentially about receiving God's Wrath, then there's no sense in which Christians can partake. We cannot follow Christ's example. But if Cup/Cross are about suffering persecutions, then Christians can follow Christ's example. A key difference between us and Christ is that Christ was in a position to make atonement by undergoing persecutions.

The Protestant interpretation of carrying our Cross is trying to have it both ways, but that's a contradiction. I think my post exposes the contradiction pretty clearly. The Protestant interpretation of drinking the Cup, as explained by Lee, is that of equivocation, where the cup takes on a double meaning of God's Wrath and also sweet refreshing drink.

Michael Taylor said...

Nick,

You said: >>First of all, identifying the "cup" of Matthew 20:22-23 as the "cup of God's wrath" is bad exegesis.<<

The only "bad exegesis" here is yours. What other "cup" would you propose as the background for the cup Jesus is praying not to have to drink?

Do your OT word studies. Here is what you will find:

1. When used metaphorically, the cup is almost always a metaphor for God's wrath or judgment.
2. The cup is *never* a metaphor for persecution or the death of an individual.
3. The cup is *never* a metaphor for a hero's or martyr's death.
4. One has to go outside of scripture to find the "cup" being used synonymously with death.

So, what are we to conclude from this? The answer is that the most probable background for the cup is OT cup of wrath. Ergo, Jesus drank this cup to the dregs.

Your argument that it cannot be a cup of wrath consumed on our behalf is extremely weak.

First, it is an a priori argument: Thus if Jesus drank the cup of wrath, no one else (such as James and John) can. But this is the wrong methodology: Instead you should take an a posterior approach: If Jesus drank the cup of wrath and said others would do the same, then it follows that there must be a way in which they can do just that. Fortunately, scripture answers for us exactly how that is possible: namely that we can participate in this cup.

By way of analogy, no one would argue that in taking up our cross or in being crucified with Christ that we accomplish the same thing Jesus did on the cross. Nevertheless, scripture uses this participatory language to show that our suffering can be united to his. There is therefore nothing wrong in principle with the suggestion that James and John could have participated in the "same" cup that Jesus drank without themselves being the object of divine wrath.

Alternatively, it is entirely possible that the cup that Jesus prayed not to have to drink and the cup (and baptism) he said James and John would participate in, are two different cups (and baptism). In the next few days, I'll be posting on my own blog to argue the case for this view.



nannykim said...

Hi Nick,

I notice Pope Benedict XVI in his book JESUS OF NAZARETH page 232 states,

"But here is is not a case of a cruel God demanding the infinite. It is exactly the opposite: God himself becomes the locus of reconciliation, and in the person of his Son takes the suffering upon himself. God himself grants his infinite purity to the world. God himself 'drinks the cup' of every horror to the dregs and thereby restores justice through the greatness of his love, which , through suffering, transforms the darkness."

I was wondering how this reference to drinking the cup would tie in with your article?

Thanks, Kim

nannykim said...

I am supposing that the quote I gave is referring to Christ's embracing fully the suffering he underwent for the redemption. Again , he does not speak of wrath or damnation.

Nick said...

Michael,

Where in the OT does the cup signify spiritual damnation? And how is this possible if the OT Prophets suffered under this wave of wrath that exiled the Jews?

And explain how "we can participate" in drinking the Cup of God's Wrath if the Wrath in question is that of being cut-off from God? The only way I see 'participation' and our suffering 'united' to Christ's as possible is if what Christ is enduring is not due to imputed guilt.

I am also curious how you can say it's entirely possible that Jesus was speaking of two different cups/baptisms when He used the term cup/baptism once and applied it to Himself and to the Apostles in the same sentence. Please link your new post when you're done.

Nick said...

Kim,

Regarding your quote from Pope Benedict's book, I forgot to look up the context in my copy at home. I would agree with your assessment though that it simply comes off as Christ embracing His suffering (physical and emotional) without any need to assume God's wrath was being poured out upon Him.

Nick said...

One thing the Fathers and Catholic theology is trying to get across is that Jesus' suffering the 'punishment' of experiencing the effects of a fallen world (pain, death, sorrow) is that Jesus underwent these for more of a *medicinal* reason than a legal one.

Uniting His Divinity to our humanity was more about healing/transforming than it was about satisfying legal requirements. This is why it was impossible for Jesus to stay dead, because His Divinity was forever united to His body and soul, and so when His body and soul separated you could say His Divinity 'pulled the two back together' again. So in this sense, Jesus healed human nature from the grotesque notion of soul separating from body, which is why even the eternally damned will be Resurrected back to their own bodies.

guy fawkes said...

Nick, We have been doing the Stations of the Cross for Lent. Today, when we got to Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus carry His cross, I thought of Penal Substitution. I know we can't make a whole theology of the Atonement from this one little scene, but it sure implies that Jesus suffered as the Head of the human race. Without a member of that human race assisting Him, He may not have made it to Calvary. It just doesn't fit with Jesus doing all in our stead, not wanting any participation from us.
Jim R

Nick said...

Jim,

I see the Simon of Cyrene incident as more valuable for the fact of what details the Gospel writers chose to convey in their accounts of the Crucifixion. It seems that PSub advocates care less about the sufficiency and perspecuity of Scripture than they lead us to believe, since of all the details the Evangelists give us, the Evangelists omit "The True Meaning of The Cross," namely that the real point of the Cross was for the Father to dump His Wrath on Jesus. I wrote about this HERE in one of my favorite articles.

Michael Taylor said...

Nick: >>Where in the OT does the cup signify spiritual damnation?<<

Nick, this is pure obfuscation. The question you should be asking is where in the OT is the "cup" a martyr's death or anything like what you're claiming it is. You have not a single text to support your view. I have multiple texts showing that it is divine judgment/wrath. I don't need to show that it is "spiritual damnation." That's a read herring because your unspoken assumption here is that the OT type has to be like the NT antitype in every single respect. But the pattern of fulfillment we find in the NT is always on a much grander scale than the OT analogue.

Nick>>And explain how "we can participate" in drinking the Cup of God's Wrath if the Wrath in question is that of being cut-off from God?<<

Here again you are assuming that what we experience is identical to what Jesus did. But that's where you're going off the deep end. Instead, think of overlapping circles. The shaded area is where our suffering is comparable to Jesus'. But there are entire areas of the circle that are not comparable. Jesus redeems sinners when he suffered. We do not. Jesus atones for sin when he suffers. We do not. Jesus bears the wrath of God. We do not.

Here's another way of thinking of it. In Galatians 2:20 Paul says he was "crucified" with Christ. That does not, however, imply that Paul rendered satisfaction for sins, even on Rome's underdeveloped theory of the atonement. And yet in the very same verse Paul can say that Christ was his substitute. How is that possible? How can he be in solidarity with Christ ("crucified with Christ") and at the same time say ("he gave himself for me")?

Paul holds together what you, in shear desperation, have been trying to dichotomize. The only theory that make sense of it all is to say that in our union with Christ we participate in his suffering without ourselves accomplishing what he did on the cross.

Recall that we are all called to deny ourselves and carry our cross. But in so carrying our cross, we are not thereby atoning for sin.

Nick>>I am also curious how you can say it's entirely possible that Jesus was speaking of two different cups/baptisms when He used the term cup/baptism once and applied it to Himself and to the Apostles in the same sentence. Please link your new post when you're done.<<

Yes, and I'm not promising that you'll be convinced as I'm simply throwing out an intriguing possibility that a minority of commentators defend (including biggies like Cranfield).

I haven't finished it yet. But when I do I'll let you know.

Mike

Nick said...

Michael,

I showed that the OT 'cup' is a blanket judgement upon the whole area, on the guilty and innocent, including OT prophets. There's no obfuscation here, merely showing that the 'grander scale' here isn't hell but rather God's judgment upon suffering and death themselves.

And you are not being clear as to what this 'suffering' we have in common with Christ is. What is the 'shaded area' of the venn diagram of sufferings both Christ and us endure?

By saying Jesus atones but we do not, I don't deny that, but that is a matter of *results* of suffering and not (necessarily) *type*. Jesus suffering crucifixion resulted in atonement, whereas a Christian suffering crucifixion would rather result in perseverance to the end. Same type of suffering (not as intense) but different fruit.

Michael Taylor said...

Nick said>>I showed that the OT 'cup' is a blanket judgement upon the whole area, on the guilty and innocent, including OT prophets. There's no obfuscation here, merely showing that the 'grander scale' here isn't hell but rather God's judgment upon suffering and death themselves. <<

Sorry, Nick, but you're still throwing us red herrings. The "grander scale" of OT fulfillment in the NT is found in the NT, not the Old. So what in OT times was punishment/wrath on a national scale, very well could be punishment/wrath that includes eternal/infinite punishment.

That Jesus (and individual) can do this is easily shown when we consider how all the Gospels (especially Matthew and Mark) routinely portray Jesus as a corporate personality for Israel. In other words, Jesus can represent not just a nation, but all nations.

In any event, the point you keep avoiding is the stubborn fact that there is no Biblical example of the "cup" as a metaphor for a martyr's death. So the idea that Jesus was simply talking about his death or persecution falls far short of the OT meaning of the term.

Nick>>And you are not being clear as to what this 'suffering' we have in common with Christ is. What is the 'shaded area' of the venn diagram of sufferings both Christ and us endure? <<

Like Christ, Christians can be persecuted and killed for their faith. That is, we can die as martyrs. But unlike Christ, our death does not redeem the world or make satisfaction for sin.

Anyway, I'm done with that "cup" article. You can read my take on it here:

I showed that the OT 'cup' is a blanket judgement upon the whole area, on the guilty and innocent, including OT prophets. There's no obfuscation here, merely showing that the 'grander scale' here isn't hell but rather God's judgment upon suffering and death themselves.

And you are not being clear as to what this 'suffering' we have in common with Christ is. What is the 'shaded area' of the venn diagram of sufferings both Christ and us endure?

http://fallibility.blogspot.com/2014/04/which-cup-did-james-and-john-drink.html


the Old Adam said...

Since it is the Lord who Baptizes (in Baptism), anyone who is baptized is brought into Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection (Romans 6)…through faith.

God does it…ALL.

So not to worry about it if you are a Catholic…or Protestant.

God is no respecter of denominations.

Anonymous said...

Now it is the midnight hour, when Fr. christian comes drawing his meed of secret elixir, and all nature is wrapped in silence and in sleep; even the dogs, and the feathered fowl of many a glossy hue slumber and sleep. Then he performs the secret matter, with awful thirst as he rises from his couch for a refill, he dons no sandal, bare­ foot must he go about this solemn business. Bringing his hands smartly together he knaps his thumb and middle finger upon the lid of the bottle, lest haply if all were still some spectre might prevent him at his work. Thrice does he lave his glass in 80 proof tonic; he turns his face away and he takes up the glass in his grasp. Gazing in no particular direction, he swigs before he exclaims: "With this Jim Beam, I pay the ransom for myself and the whole world." This must he say nine times over, a swig between each. For at his shoulder stands the ghost of inebriations ever lurking, who unseen gathers up the offering. Again he shall fill his glass with the holy tonic; he must strike up some music on his iPod, and at the notes he shall dance wildly and beseech the spectres to come in an get this party started! Nine times doth he cry aloud, "Ο spirits of my ancestors, come forth I beseech thee! For you do not know how dry I am! Nobody knows!"

Anonymous said...

The Protestant, should understand though, that no where does the passage imply penal substitution.

De Maria said...

Hello all,

Is this the Cup of God's wrath?

Matthew 20:22-23
King James Version (KJV)
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Apparently, the Apostles drank from that cup as well as Christ. How does that fit into Protestant theology?

Michael Taylor said...

De Maria,

Not every commentator believes Jesus is talking about the same cup in verse 22 and 23. Those who make a distinction would say the cup in verse 22 is the OT cup of wrath, but that the cup that James and John will drink is the Eucharist, which in part pictures the OT cup of wrath, but which is itself a different cup.

I have an article which explores this in more detail and gives references to those commentators who take this view:

http://fallibility.blogspot.com/2014/04/which-cup-did-james-and-john-drink.html

Blessings to you.

De Maria said...

De Maria,

Not every commentator believes Jesus is talking about the same cup in verse 22 and 23.


What do you believe?

Those who make a distinction would say the cup in verse 22 is the OT cup of wrath, but that the cup that James and John will drink is the Eucharist, which in part pictures the OT cup of wrath, but which is itself a different cup.

How does that make sense? He says:

Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

Then He says:
Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with:

The Baptism to which He refers is martyrdom. He was baptized by blood in His Passion and upon the Cross. The cup is also martyrdom. Baptism and the cup refer to the very same thing. Jesus died for the Church. James and John were martyred for the Church.

St. Paul himself says:
Colossians 1:24
King James Version (KJV)
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

And again:
1 Cor 15:
29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Scripture confirms that Jesus was telling them that they would suffer for the sake of the Church, as He would suffer for the sake of the Church. This is the baptism they would be baptized with and the cup they would drink.

And that ties us back to the title of this article, Can Protestants drink from this cup, considering their belief that Christ did all the suffering and we need not participate in the atonement?

Can they take up their cross, considering the very same thing? If Christ did all the suffering and all was finished upon the cross, why did Christ call us all to take up our cross daily?

I have an article which explores this in more detail and gives references to those commentators who take this view:

I wonder why you care what commentators are saying? Don't you believe in the perspicuity of Scripture? If so, why do you need anyone else's commentary?

Seems you are acting in contradiction to Protestant doctrine.

Blessings to you.

And to you

Paul said...

I grew up Catholic, but was swept away by the "Born Again," movement of the 70's. However I have come to recognise the horrible inconsistencies of Protestant teaching, especially the proposition that God poured out his wrath of Jesus.
More and more I have begun to wonder if there was any benefit to the Protestant Reformation,considering that there are 30,000 Protestant denominations, and such disunity in doctrine.