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. 

4 thoughts on “Adoptionism

  1. Thanks for writing this explanation, Denver. I’m the one who asked this question on the other blog. I knew that wasn’t the subject of that blog, but it still raised the question for me by the way you wrote it. This blog was a great clarification.

    And since dkd2200 has asked the question about having your c&e made sure if single, let’s just flesh out the question with this further part: I’m single, but not just “single”. I’m divorced, still “sealed” to my ex-husband who left us many years ago, and not dating and have no prospects on the horizon. So, when (if) you comment on this, Denver, please add this to the mix.

    My own personal opinion on the subject is this: I believe that anyone can receive the Second Comforter and be redeemed and have their calling and election made sure when they are ready and worthy. However there are ordinances in the temple that require a married and worthy couple. For that, we will have to wait. This is all just my opinion. I’m listening now…

  2. Great topic: knowing that we as mortals can become or reach the level of a ‘Son’ or ‘Daughter’ of God in this life…if one delves into the following scriptures, one can begin to realize that there are some other levels to this Gospel: see Moses 6:68; John 1:12; D&C 11: 30; 34:3; 35:2; 39:4; 45:8; Mosiah 5:7; 27:25; 3 Ne 9:17; Ether 3:14; Moroni 7:26,48.

  3. It is reasonable to understand this process of progression as being universal. Section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants solidifies it for me….”For I am no respecter of persons…What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself.” In order to fulfill all righteousness, even Christ could be no exception.

Comments are closed.