Saturday, March 27, 2010
I wrote a post about altering or rewriting scriptures to resolve doctrinal disputes. The example used was taken from the time before the New Testament settled into its final form. That example, "adoptionism" was rejected by the majority view, and ultimately the text of the New Testament was changed to make the doctrine "false" from the text. That change was made during the Third and Fourth Centuries as a result of what is now called the Christological debates.
Someone asked if I thought Christ was adopted. That wasn't the point of the blog post. But as long as the question was asked, here's my view:
No, He was the Son of God. However, even as the Son of God He still was required to be acknowledged by Him in mortality to be saved. Once He entered into mortality, took upon Him blood, He was subject to the Fall. Despite being subject to the Fall, He lived His life in such a way that the Fall could not have a proper claim upon Him. It was unjust He should die. When, therefore, death overtook Him, it was unjust. That injustice was the reason He could resurrect. The grave could have no just claim upon Him, and therefore death could be reversed in Him. The Father accepted Him as His Son while He was still in mortality. This was done because as a mortal, subject to the Fall, inhabiting a body with blood and the elements of corruption, Christ needed to receive the Father's acknowledgment as His Son, even though He was indeed His Son.
Now the adoptionist theory was contrary to this. They held the view that Christ was just another man and got adopted to become the Son of God. He was God's Son solely as a result of that adoption and not in any other way. I reject that idea. But I accept that He needed, just as everyone else needs, to be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, proceed through the ordinances of the Gospel, and ultimately receive His calling and election made sure. He said He needed to "fulfill all righteousness" and He did all that was required of any of us. God acknowledged Him as His Son. This is required for anyone to be saved. Christ showed the way and walked the path. So in that sense He, just as all of us, needed to be "adopted." Him because He was mortal. Us because we are conceived in sin.