Another inconsistency faced by PST adherents is that their theory contradicts both the actions and the teachings of Jesus. In the life of Jesus one sees forgiveness granted freely, whereas PST argues that God cannot forgive freely but must first be propitiated.
For example, in Luke 5, four men lower a man sick of the palsy down from the roof so that he can get to Jesus through the crowd. The Gospel of Luke reports about Jesus: “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee” (v. 20). Note he didn’t say that his sins would be forgiven after a sacrifice of blood was made to propitiate the Father but that they are forgiven now on the basis of their faith.
A similar story is told in Luke 7. A sinner woman (probably a prostitute) comes to Jesus and washes his feet with her tears and her hair. Luke records Jesus as saying:
“Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” (vv. 47-48).
Just prior to these verses, Jesus told a parable:
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? (vv. 41-42).
Now in the parable, it is clear that the creditor is forgiving the debtors freely. He is not demanding that they or someone else cough up the money first before he forgives. Immediately upon finishing the parable, Jesus tells the woman, her sins are forgiven. What is the proper conclusion to be drawn here? Jesus forgives the woman freely without requiring any type of payment up front.
Also in Luke, we have the account of the penitent thief on the cross. After the thief asks Jesus to remember him when he enters into his kingdom, Jesus replies: "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43).
Not only do the actions of Jesus demonstrate free forgiveness but he teaches his disciples to do the same. In the so-called “Lord’s Prayer”, which is really the model prayer for the disciples, Jesus teaches his followers to pray: "And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us" (Luke 11:4; see also Matt. 6:12)). It sounds here like God’s forgiveness of us is the same as our forgiveness of others. If we forgive those who are indebted to us, we must do so freely. It would be pure eisegesis (i.e., reading one's own ideas into the text rather than allowing the text to say what it says)to say that the people his disciples are to forgive must first make some type of restitution or pay retribution. In Matthew’s version of this prayer, he adds the following:
"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt. 6:14-15).
Here Jesus makes it clear that his disciples must forgive freely those who trespass against them, if they expect their Father to freely forgive them. More examples could be produced but this is sufficient to illustrate the teachings of Jesus on this matter. Forgiveness is to be done freely.
Now, PST adherents know these verses as well as I do. How do they respond? Well as is typical of evangelical theologians, they read the actions and words of Jesus through the grid of the later NT writings. (Its interesting that this done on almost every point of doctrine by evangelicals. For example, see longtime Professor of Theology at Dallas Seminary, Charles Ryrie's book, So Great A Salvation). They argue that Jesus could forgive these people seemingly freely but that in reality, he could do so only because he knew that he was the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8) In other words, since God is eternal and Jesus is God, whether the death had taken place in time yet was immaterial. It was a certainty in God’s mind.
Well, it was not a certainty in the minds of the disciples and those who heard Jesus speak these words. Why didn’t Jesus clarify? Why did he leave them believing that forgiveness was to come freely? And why didn’t Luke who apparently wrote the gospel that bears his name, insert this little theological caveat? He was a companion of Paul and no doubt understood Pauline theology.
In the “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus says:
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:38-45).
Here Jesus is plainly teaching his disciples that they are not to seek retribution for wrongs done to them. They are to love their enemies and bless the ones who curse them and do good to the ones who hate them, and etc. Why should they do this? So that they may properly imitate their Heavenly Father who does the same. He sends sunshine and rain equally on the just and the unjust.
Once again, the PST adherents are faced with a problem. How do they answer it? They do what they typically do in interpreting the Gospels, they read Jesus’ words through the grid of Pauline theology. They reply that man is not to take revenge on those who do him wrong but rather he is to leave that up to God. Its God’s prerogative not man’s to seek revenge.(See Pierced for Our Transgressions, pp. 234-235). Paul wrote: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head" (Romans 12:19-20).
Once again, those who heard Jesus give the “Sermon on the Mount,” did not have access to Paul’s teachings. Not only that but Jesus teaches that his followers are not to seek retribution for wrongs done to them but to model themselves after the Father who sends rain on the wicked and the righteous alike. There is no intimation at all in Jesus’ words that one should just leave the “revenge-taking” up to God. To interpret his words this way is nothing but blatant eisegesis.
Why are evangelicals driven to eisegesis? Because, in my opinion, the teachings of the various writers of Scripture are not in harmony. Since evangelicals insist that the Bible is a unified, inspired revelation from God (some even say its inerrant),they believe it must be in agreement with itself. This presupposition drives them to "jump through hoops" and perform “mental gymnastics” in order to try to harmonize the Scripture.