Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Reformed apologist Joe Mizzi says Jesus was "forgotten" by the Father while on the Cross.

Just last week I wrote about how Calvinist John Piper explicitly said Jesus was "damned in our place," and today another Calvinist apologist named Joe Mizzi wrote on his blog a similar article. The article is titled “Why have you forsaken me?” (3-26-14), which briefly deals with Jesus’ words on the Cross and what these words mean. Included in the reflection was the following claims by Joe Mizzi:
But the next time he opened his mouth, Jesus uttered these mysterious words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Many centuries before, the Psalmist had declared: “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken” (Psalms 37:25). But on the cross the Righteous One was forgotten by God – He who never committed the least sin, who unfailingly obeyed the whole will of God, and in whom the Father was well-pleased. In that dark hour the Father left the Son on his own.
Why? How can God the Father turn away from his beloved Son? The Father forsook him because “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The prophet had foretold: “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). He forsook him because God is “of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13) – even though the sin he bore was not his own.
We deserved the punishment due to our sins, and consequently be rejected from God’s glorious presence and cast into the outer darkness. But Christ took upon himself the sins of his people and suffered as our substitute. He was punished in our place. God forsook him so that we, who trust in his Son, may not be exiled eternally from his presence. He forsook him for a time so that we may enjoy God forever with his Son
Clearly, Mizzi is talking about Jesus being spiritually damned, though he is careful not to use harsh words (as people like Piper do). Mizzi’s wording of Jesus being spiritually "forgotten by God" is akin to Calvinist pastor Thabiti claimed (quoted elsewhere, Here and Here) that on the Cross “the ancient fellowship between Father and Son was broken.” 

In this case, Mizzi says: (a) God the Father couldn’t look upon His Son, (b) that the Father spiritually “left the Son on His own,” and (c) that though we deserved to be rejected from God’s presence and “cast into outer darkness” (a Biblical description of separation from God in Hell) Jesus suffered as our substitute. Mizzi is saying Jesus suffered what a damned soul in hell suffers, spiritual separation from God, since this punishment is what our sins deserve.

Aside from the blatan Christological error entailed in this, the Bible clearly refutes these things. For example: (a) Psalm 22:24 says God did not hide His Face from Jesus (and what's baffling is that Mizzi quotes Psalm 37:25 and yet ignores any reference to Psalm 22, the very Psalm in question), (b) in John 8:28-29 Jesus says the Father is always with him (even though Protestants say Jesus was bearing our God-repulsive guilt all His human life), and (c) being cast into outer darkness is only possible if one loses sanctifying grace and charity (as the Wedding Feast parable of Matt 22:11-13 says), which Jesus didn’t do on the Cross.

As with the other Calvinists who make such claims, these comments by Mizzi are equally blasphemous, heretical, and unbiblical. I've written about this before, so please go through this blog to learn more if you aren't up to speed. Otherwise, just consider this a 'for the record' article you can refer unsuspecting Protestants to read, since many of them have no idea that Jesus suffering separation from the Father is the heart of the Gospel as Protestants have historically understood "the Good News."


guy fawkes said...

Nick, I really think addressing the Penal Substitution theory cut the snakes head off. All of Calvinism flows out from this grotesque idea.

Nick said...

I would largely agree with your assessment. The way I see it, everything fits together in some way, and to remove Penal Substitution from the equation a number of Calvinist doctrines completely collapse, especially Justification by Faith Alone.

Mark Sherring said...

Hi Nick,
thanks for your insightful article.
The Ps 22 reference (God not hiding His face) is very close to the E-Orthodox way of treating this.
I've posted some extended thoughts on this over on your article "Does the Catholic view of Christ's Atonement permit the Reformed view of "Penal Substitution"?, so no need to repeat here. Blessings to you. Mark