From the more radical wing of the “Emerging Church” has emerged a phrase and/or concept that is not only fashionable in that camp but has been picked up by liberals and secularists alike. It is now in vogue to refer to the cross of Christ as “cosmic child abuse.” While Brian McClaren and Steve Chalke speak freely in such terms, Adrian Warnock has chronicled other examples including Philip Yancey in The Jesus I Never Knew, Eugene Rogers in Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God (Challenges in Contemporary Theology), Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore in Let the Children Come : Reimagining Childhood from a Christian Perspective (Families and Faith Series), and Haven Kimmel in The Solace of Leaving Early.

Further, Dr. Peter Jones, author of Spirit Wars: Pagan Renewal in Christian America, warns against the pagan agenda of radical feminism that has been embraced by much of the church and connects that agenda with environmental activism propelled by Gaia worship. Numerous so-called Christians in that society refer to the cross of Christ as “cosmic child abuse.”

Moreover, in his article highlighting the comments of the homosexual Anglican Priest, The Very Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Philip Hywel John, Dr. Albert Mohler not only points out the priest’s belief “that the church's traditional understanding of the cross of Christ is both ‘repulsive and ‘insane,’ but also cites Giles Fraser, who “throws his lot in with Dr. John. In his words, ‘For, once again, what [John] has been saying is nothing other than a truth known by most people in the pews: that the idea of God murdering his son for the salvation of the world is barbaric and morally indefensible. It turns Christianity into ‘cosmic child abuse.’”

In our present context, we are left with two competing visions of the cross of Christ. Either the cross was insane and a form of cosmic child abuse, or, it was not only just, but appropriate for God to send His Son to die such death. Dr. Mohler is right when he notes, “On this question there is no middle ground.”

It is clear that Christ came into the world for a purpose. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone" (Heb. 2:9). Now, this raises a massive question (particularly in the Jewish context): is it right or appropriate or even true that the Messiah should suffer and die? Of course, the Old Testament is filled with references to this particular reality. The problem lies in the fact that most Jews did not understand such nor did it comport with their understanding of the Messiah or the law.

It seems that contemporary minds have the same difficulty, though for different reasons. The first-century Jews thought the Messiah would be a military conqueror. Furthermore, the law declared that anyone who hung upon a tree was cursed of God. In the same way they could not stomach such a notion, neither can today’s liberals fathom God crucifying Christ for their salvation. The truth is that Christ was cursed of God for a time. Six reasons are here offered as to why this action had to be and that it was indeed fitting.

First, it was fitting for the Father to send Christ to taste death for His people because of who God is and the purpose He had in bringing many sons to glory. To put it simply, because all things are for and by God Himself, what He does is right. One of the things God determined to do was to adopt a family and then bring that family to glory; something that family could not do for itself.