Among the many aspects of labyrinthine strangeness in the Augustinian/Anselmian/Calvinist heresy of “Atonement” (substitutionary sacrifice) is the notion that the fulfilment of the law is not the fulfilment of the law. If Christ fulfilled the law for us, then why on earth would he be punished “on our behalf.” If the law requires that we drive at maximum 100km/hour, and we do drive at 100km/hr, we will not get a speeding ticket, because we have fulfilled the law. Since the fulfilment of the Scriptural law is righteousness, and Christ fulfilled all righteousness, why would he be punished for fulfilling the law of righteousness? The notion that punishment is the fulfilment of the law is simply perverse. Punishment is for NOT fulfilling the law, it could NOT be the fulfilment of the law. Did Christ not live a perfectly righteous life? Did he not fulfil the actual righteousness of God, which is cosuffering love? It would be rather nice to see Western neo-Christians adopt the Traditional Christian understanding of redemption and salvation, and abandon the pagan heresy of Atonement — for human sacrifices to satisfy the passions and vengeance lust of deity is certainly pagan; like throwing a virgin down a volcano to atone for whatever it was that irritated the volcano god.

Bishop Lazar Puhalo
Orthodox Church of Canada